Summit County officials lay out plan to improve a road in historic neighborhood near Frisco

Proposal comes after residents voiced concern about impacts to roads from planned housing development in the area

Robert Tann/Summit Daily News
Miner's Creek Road pictured in the Bill's Ranch neighborhood on Oct. 25, 2023. Summit County officials are rolling out a plan to improve the road with traffic calming measures including speed limits and stop signs.
Robert Tann/Summit Daily News

Summit County officials are eyeing a plan to make improvements to Miner’s Creek Road in the historic Bill’s Ranch neighborhood near Frisco in tandem with a new planned affordable housing development. 

Discussed during a Summit Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, the proposal came in response to Bill’s Ranch residents who raised concerns about the impacts of adding new housing without additional road safety measures. 

“The whole design is really driven by traffic calming,” said county road and bridge director Robert Jacobs. 

Miner’s Creek is an unpaved road running through Bill’s Ranch from the Fiester Preserve open space. While county-owned, it is currently maintained by Bill’s Ranch homeowners. As one of the main thoroughfares for the area, it supports two-way traffic, but homeowners say children also use it to walk to and from Frisco Elementary School. 

With plans to build 15 deed-restricted homes on a roughly 2-acre plot of land sandwiched between Miner’s Creek and Stellar Jay roads, residents have been pressing county officials to do more to protect pedestrians from an expected increase in vehicle traffic. 

“It’s just a matter of time before something happens there, and it’s going to be really bad,” said Mark Novotny, a longtime Bill’s Ranch resident, in a previous interview with the Summit Daily News. 

County officials said they presented three ideas during an Oct. 17 forum with area residents. Two of those proposals would have seen Miner’s Creek become paved — something residents have generally stood against in order to preserve the road’s historic aesthetic. 

Stay up-to-date on all things Summit County. Get the top stories in your inbox every morning. Sign up here:

Officials ultimately recommended a third option, which would pave a section of the road just before the intersection at Stellar Jay Road and everything west of that toward the Frisco town boundary. It would leave a majority of Miner’s Creek Road to the east untouched. 

By paving the section that leads toward the untouched road, striped painting can be added to help better delineate the two lands, officials said.

Other changes include adding signage, such as speed limit and stop signs, as well as narrowing a majority of the unpaved road from a width of 21 feet to 20 feet, with a reduction to 16 feet at the area that contains the culvert which allows Miner’s Creek to flow underneath. The culvert would also undergo work to increase flood capacity and improve drainage. 

Summit County government/Courtesy image
A graphic shows the proposed plan for Miner’s Creek Road in the Bill’s Ranch neighborhood of Summit County.
Summit County government/Courtesy image

Much of that development would likely not be finished until 2025 — roughly when officials expect a majority of the deed-restricted homes to go on the market. 

“There potentially could be a couple closings before the final road work,” said Housing Director Jason Dietz. 

Commissioners signaled they were ultimately in support of the recommended improvements. 

Commissioner Tamara Pogue thanked officials for meeting with residents before adding, “I’m happy that we’re able to proceed with what they want.”

Commissioner Nina Waters said she believes the plan “aligns very much with the comments that were received from the community members.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.