Summit County and Frisco Sanitation District move forward on Lake Hill project |

Summit County and Frisco Sanitation District move forward on Lake Hill project

Draft inclusion agreement in the works for development that is planned to add 436 affordable housing units northeast of Frisco

An aerial view of the site where the Lake Hill workforce housing project is planned to be built near Frisco is pictured Jan. 20. Summit County government and the Frisco Sanitation District are closer to an agreement on the project.
Ashley Low/For the Summit Daily News

Summit County’s Lake Hill project has taken another step toward becoming reality. The affordable housing development, which has been in the works for over 20 years, was partly stuck in place due to sewer service, but Summit County government and the Frisco Sanitation District are in the process of reaching an agreement.

The two parties met Thursday, Jan. 27, to go over a basic outline of a proposal around the Lake Hill project being included within the Frisco Sanitation District for service, and the district and county are now working on drafting an inclusion agreement.

“There’s no deal that’s been made at this point, but certainly progress — at least from our perspective — in the right direction,” Summit County Manager Scott Vargo said. “… We’re very excited and optimistic about taking this step.”

Lake Hill is planned to add 436 affordable housing units to a 45-acre parcel of land northeast of Frisco between Interstate 70 and the Dillon Dam Road. With those units comes an increased demand of sewer service. The county found Frisco Sanitation District to be the most cost-effective sewer service provider, but the parcel is outside of the special district’s boundary, and the district was hesitant to expand due to possible future developments within its service area.

“Broad concepts of what needed to be happening were presented (before), but nothing really more,” Frisco Sanitation District Manager Matt Smith said. “At this meeting, … there was some more detail in their presentation that made it easier to visualize the end point.”

Vargo said the county presented some funding scenarios for infrastructure upgrades so that Lake Hill could be accommodated. For instance, the county intends for the project to cover all costs associated with extension of sewer lines to reach a property. Vargo said the county also proposes to cover the cost of design and expansion of the Frisco Sanitation District facility, if or when that is required.

“It certainly is a step in the right direction from anything that was previously proposed,” Smith said. “… We’re honing in on some of the finer details and getting to a spot where both parties are more in agreement of how it should be handled.”

While Vargo doesn’t know exactly how much line extension and other investments would cost at this time, the facility expansion is estimated to cost around $8 million.

“That of course could go up or could go down depending on the construction environment that’s happening at the time it takes place,” Vargo said.

If another large development got included into the district down the line, Vargo mentioned that there might be a reimbursement to the county. He said it would seem reasonable for that group to pay their prorated share of the expansion of the district facilities so that it’s not all falling on Lake Hill.

Vargo said a separate agreement is in the works with the town of Frisco for water. With proof that Lake Hill will be serviced by Frisco Sanitation District and the town of Frisco, Vargo said state and federal dollars for workforce housing and wastewater projects will now be available as they identify grants to offset the county’s financial burden.

Vargo hopes a draft agreement will be in front of the sanitation district’s attorney by the end of the week. The documents will bounce back and forth between the groups for a few weeks until the district’s board of directors is comfortable enough to approve it at a future meeting.

“It’s just like any other property that might get included in our district; it’s the same process,” Smith said. “There’s a little more details to work out in this one since it’s just such a large scale. But it’s the same inclusion process.”

Once Lake Hill has been adopted into the district, rezoning for the project is the next step.

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