Single-use bag fee takes effect in Frisco as town reflects on 2019 policy changes
FRISCO — The new year has arrived and the town of Frisco is reflecting on a number of new initiatives passed in 2019, along with regulations set to be enacted in 2020 to help support the community’s goals around a thriving economy, inclusive community and sustainable environment.
Among notable changes over the past year, Frisco has implemented parking changes along Main Street along with new short-term rental regulations, and will begin enforcing new tobacco licensing and single-use bag fees this year.
“With the adoption of the Frisco Community Plan, Frisco Town Council heard the concerns of residents and businesses and made sure that we tackled a lot of hard issues in 2019 so we could set up 2020 and beyond as a time for positive change in support of the values and future of our community,” Mayor Gary Wilkinson said.
Single-use bag fees
Perhaps the biggest change is an ordinance the Town Council passed in August, requiring a 25-cent per bag fee on all paper and plastic disposable bags. The fee, which went into effect Jan. 1, is the highest in the state and is meant to discourage the use of disposable bags.
The bag fee capped off a productive year in the development of new sustainability policies for Frisco, including the adoption of the Summit Climate Action Plan, the passing of a resolution to create more zero waste events, the installation of new electric vehicle charging stations and committing to 100% renewable energy by 2035.
“This bag fee is one of the most visible initiatives passed in 2019, but council has made a number of other commitments to a sustainable environment, which notably include moving to a 100% renewable by 2035,” Wilkinson said. “We want our small mountain town to be part of the solution, be a leader on sustainability issues and educate our residents and guests to be stewards of this planet.
“We look out at these mountains every day and think about what we need to do now to make sure that future generations can experience the beauty and adventure that we have grown up with. This powerful goal guides us when we take on issues around sustainability, and it fuels our courage to take on issues, which may be challenging or hard.”
Visit sustainablefrisco.com for more information on the town’s sustainability efforts.
Parking in downtown Frisco
Another notable change is coming to Main Street, where town officials are hoping to better support local businesses by providing stricter parking enforcement.
Beginning in November, Frisco officially launched the ParkSmartFrisco program in response to feedback from business owners along Main Street looking to make parking more readily available to customers. As officials push to encourage more consistent turnover of available parking spaces this year, residents will have to get used to more rigid enforcement of parking limits.
The maximum parking time allowed on Main Street has been raised from two to three hours, and in order to ensure parking is available to business customers, the Frisco Police Department will be enforcing the new limits from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Residents can visit parksmartfrisco.com for more information on parking regulations.
Frisco also will join the rest of the county in enacting new nicotine and tobacco regulations in town. In September 2019, the Frisco Town Council passed an ordinance establishing new licensing processes for tobacco retailers, along with raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 years old.
The ordinance is meant to help curb the number of nicotine and tobacco users in town, particularly Frisco’s youth community. Of note, President Donald Trump signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in December to raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21, meaning Frisco’s new regulations, along with others around the county, will be consistent with new federal regulations when they take effect.
Short-term rental licensing
Finally, Frisco made some big strides in creating new regulations in the realm of short-term rentals in town.
Last January, the town council passed new licensing regulations specific to short-term rentals, outlining everything from life safety requirements, maximum occupancy and responsible agents available 24 hours a day for complaints.
The new regulations also included a 24-hour complaint hotline (970-432-8291), where calls will be referred to the appropriate party to be resolved. Since last January, the town has received applications for more than 290 short-term rentals licenses, a 115% increase in compliance.
“It was important to council that our residents were able to enjoy their quality of life in Frisco, so we made sure that we set up some requirements to alleviate nuisances around parking, garbage and noise,” Wilkinson said. “Also, it was important to us that every lodging business was on a level playing field and paying the taxes they were required to by law in order to support this community’s infrastructure and amenities.”
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