Summit County commissioners push for higher density in Lake Hill housing project |

Summit County commissioners push for higher density in Lake Hill housing project

An aerial view of the site where the Lake Hill workforce housing project is planned to be built near Frisco is pictured Jan. 20.
Ashley Low/For the Summit Daily News

Summit County commissioners would like to see maximized density and an accelerated timeline as planning officials continue work on the Lake Hill affordable housing project.

The commissioners held a work session to discuss the planned development of the project at a meeting Tuesday, March 8. Because it was a work session, the commissioners did not take a vote on the project and instead gave their input on what they would like to see come out of it.

Summit County and Frisco governments have been working to make the Lake Hill housing project a reality for the past 20 years. When complete, it would bring 436 deed-restricted housing units to a 45-acre parcel of land northeast of Frisco between Interstate 70 and Dillon Dam Road.

Tuesday’s work session allowed the commissioners to give their thoughts on the planned development of the project prior to taking any votes to rezone the land for residential use. The commissioners had three main concerns when considering the plan: density, traffic and timeline.

Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence said she would like to see as many units as possible in the project, since the goal is to ease housing problems in the county.

“I believe all of us have a desire for as dense as possible in terms of what we’re trying to address, which is this severe crisis in our community,” Lawrence said.

Frisco and Summit County planners landed on the 436-unit number after evaluating water and sewer needs as well as other impacts, but it wouldn’t be out of the question to increase the number of units, Senior Planner Lindsay Hirsh said.

The commissioners aren’t the only ones who were in support of increased density. The Ten Mile Planning Commission, which held a work session about the project Feb. 10, expressed a desire to add more units as well, Housing Director Jason Dietz said.

“One of their first comments was, ‘Maximize density. Why can’t this be 1,000 units?’” Dietz recalled.

The plan for the Lake Hill housing project is shown during a presentation at the Summit County commissioners meeting Tuesday, March 8.
Summit County Government/Courtesy image

The commissioners said they’d like to see more variety in the types of units provided through the project. Lawrence and Commissioner Tamara Pogue said they would be interested in designating part of the units to communal living, which typically gives individuals their own bedroom and bathroom but has them share common spaces with other renters.

Overall, the commissioners would like to see the final project offer a variety of rental and for-sale units so they can serve families and individuals.

Another community concern about the project is the potential impact on traffic on Dillon Dam Road. The planners added two connections to Dillon Dam Road, which they believed will help ease the traffic in the area. Pogue said she’d like to see more studies done to clarify the impact of the project on traffic.

Pogue also expressed a desire to see the timeline of the project accelerated. Currently, there is not a defined completion date for the project. First, the county would need to address water and sewer issues that have placed the project on hold for two decades.

The county has identified the Frisco Sanitation District as the best option for a sewer provider in the area. The county is currently in talks with the district to develop plans to move forward with sewer service, according to the county’s staff report on the project.

“This cannot be a project that takes another 20 years. It’s bad enough that it’s already taken 20 years,” Pogue said. “I am interested in knowing how we move this project forward as quickly as possible.”

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