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Text of Frisco staff report on 9.4-acre parcel

TO: MAYOR AND TOWN COUNCIL

FROM: MICHAEL PENNY, TOWN MANAGER

RE: DISPOSITION OF 9.4 ACRE PARCEL



DATE: FEBRUARY 4, 2005



Summary:

The Town of Frisco wishes to take action on Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transfer Center, 120 Lusher Court, known as the 9.4-acre parcel. The staff recommends that the Frisco Town Council declare its support for retail on this site.

Background:

The Meadow Creek Subdivision Final Plat was recorded August 1, 1978 (reception # 178502). A 27.0-acre site on the original plat was noted as the proposed school site. A 0.48-acre site (Meadow Creek Park) was deeded to the Town of Frisco on March 18, 1988 under reception # 353177, for a remainder of a 26.52 acre site.

On April 26, 1996, Summit County and the Town of Frisco executed an Option Agreement, which outlines the Town’s option to purchase the County’s interest in approximately 9.43 acres of the 26.52 acres for possible future commercial development and approximately 10.89 acres for wetland and open space purposes. In addition, an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the County, Town and the Summit School District was executed.

On May 2, 1996, the Planning Commission approved a Preliminary Plat to subdivide the 26.52 acre property into 2 lots and a Development Application to construct phase I of the Transit Center.

On May 16, 1996, the Planning Commission recommended approval to the Town Council for the rezoning request for a 6.2 acre lot from Parks and Recreation (PR) to Auto-Oriented Commercial (AO).

On June 4, 1996 the Town Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 96-11, to rezone a 6.2-acre lot from PR to AO, known as Lot 1, Summit Stage Transit Center Subdivision.

On June 18, 1996 the Town Council approved the Final Plat to resubdivide the 26.516 acre property into Lot 1 (6.203 acres) and Lot 2 (20.313 acres), Summit Stage Transit Center Subdivision.

On February 17, 1999, Frisco Town Manager Clay Brown sent a letter to Summit County Manager Bob Taylor serving notice of the Town’s intent to exercise the irrevocable option to purchase the “Property” and indicating that the Town of Frisco is beginning the rezoning and subdividing process.

On September 3, 2002, the Frisco Town Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 02-22, which rezoned the parcel from Parks and Recreation (PR) to Accommodations District (AC). The rezoning was completed to promote the development of a regionally based commercial shopping area, which may not be compatible with the Central Core District.

In the spring of 2003, Council adopted the Town’s “Economic Development Strategy,” which identifies the “10 acre parcel” as an economic development priority. Town staff was directed to begin marketing the site to parties interested in developing the property for retail uses.

On December 9, 2003, Council approved an “Exclusive Negotiation and Property Inspection Agreement” with Alberta Development Partners, LLC. A sixty-day extension was granted to Alberta Development Partners, LLC on April 13, 2004. The extension expired on June 5, 2004.

In May 2004, the Town commissioned an appraisal of the 9.4-acre site, which placed the market value at $4.9 million. During the summer of 2004, the Town held a number of community-wide meetings to get direction and input from the community.

BBC Consultants was hired to conduct an economic analysis of potential uses of the parcel, which was presented to Council in the fall of 2004. The uses included affordable housing, open space, retail, education, multi-use facility, and recreation.

Analysis:

CMC Location

Staff further evaluated the option of locating Colorado Mountain College (CMC) at the 9.4-acre site. Both options of having CMC alone on the site, as well as, considering it with a variety of other uses were considered.

The other combination of uses evaluated in conjunction with CMC were retail, recreation, multi-use facility, and housing. The resulting analysis and discussions with CMC staff led Town staff to believe that there were other locations within the Town better suited for a consolidated campus that would be more conducive to the learning and campus environment desired by CMC.

There are two additional options that are being evaluated by Town and CMC staff.

Those are the Summit Medical Center and an area at the Peninsula across from the new hospital site. CMC has indicated that both of these alternative sites are feasible locations for a consolidated college campus.

The resulting evaluation suggests that CMC can be successfully consolidated in Frisco while allowing for retail development on the 9.4-acre parcel.

This combination would create the best long-term economic picture for Frisco. Locating a college campus and a hospital in our community and having financial resources to create the supporting amenities and infrastructure will ensure Frisco’s long-term vitality.

The amenities and infrastructure are necessary to sustain a small mountain community environment that attracts families, visitors, and guests.

Financial Outlook

Staff spent considerable time evaluating the Town’s financial outlook and evaluated several alternative future scenarios.

Those scenarios ranged from no change in current business configurations and no development on the 9.4-acre site to retail growth on the site and maintenance of current business configurations.

The resulting data showed a limited ability to meet current infrastructure improvements and a need for significant reduction in services in the not-too-distant future if no action is taken to develop the 9.4-acre site.

In determining the most appropriate course of action, staff analyzed the debt capacity available to the Town and determined that with the Town’s current reserves we could borrow no more than $5,000,000.00. Incurring debt to this level would further exacerbate the Town’s future ability to provide core services with the addition of the debt service payment to the yearly expenditures.

Property Tax and Sales Tax

Property taxes are always a subject of discussion when evaluating potential revenue sources. However, Colorado residents are not typically fond of incurring property tax costs when those revenues are used for general operating expenses.

If the Town desired to raise revenues from property taxes for a specific project with a specific end-date for the tax, statistics show that approach having a much greater chance of success in Colorado communities. Staff does not see property tax as a viable long-term revenue source in lieu of sales tax. Instead we see a need to create a revenue stream for the community which includes both sales and property taxes.

The fiscal reality for municipalities in Colorado is that sales tax is a necessary revenue source in providing government services for the citizens of the community.

All the options identified throughout the public process have significant community benefit. However, none, other than retail, provide for a significant and continuous revenue stream allowing the Town to provide for 1) the other alternatives at various locations, and 2) the ability to provide for the future of Frisco.

Best Use of Site

The Town of Frisco has limited vacant land to develop for any use. The site lends itself to retail and significant retail requires the 9.4-acre site, while many of the other options do not depend on this site for their success. Recreation is the focus at the Peninsula and is being coordinated with the Summit School District.

FROST has identified open space purchase locations and the 9.4-acre parcel is not one of them. A multi-use facility is being incorporated into the Nordic building at the Peninsula. Affordable housing sites have been identified at other sites within the community that are better suited for housing.

While the 9.4-acre parcel is a sizeable parcel with numerous options for potential development, the site is also adjacent to I-70, behind a significant existing retail development, and in a core commercial zoning district.

The property does not lend itself to most uses aside from the size of the parcel. Attempting to fit a use on the site due to the size of the parcel without looking at this site in terms of the adjacent uses, proximity to I-70, existing land use ordinances, and the long-term needs for the overall current and future Frisco community does not result in the best use for the property.

Retail is a natural and intended use on this site. Adjacent to retail, easy access off of I-70, a natural wetlands buffer to the neighborhood to the south, and visible from I-70 are all characteristics which lend themselves to putting retail on this site.

Impacts on Main Street and Summit Blvd.

There has been considerable concern raised about the negative impact that retail development could have on Main Street businesses as well as the character of the Town.

There may be some business uses or development characteristics that would create a situation, which may impact the unique character of Frisco’s Main Street. These issues can be addressed and should not detract from making a final decision for the retail disposition of the 9.4-acre parcel. Summit Blvd. is not what defines Frisco’s small mountain town character.

Our varied neighborhoods, our schools, CMC coming to town, the hospital, and Main Street are what really create the unique environment we call Frisco (and home). Summit Blvd. businesses provide the vast amount of services that cater to the daily needs of the residents and visitors.

There has been and continues to be significant redevelopment occurring in this area. 10 Mile Drive has been given a substantial face-lift with the street improvements. New developments such as Drakes Landing, Conoco and Taco Bell all improve the quality and character of Summit Blvd. and the overall perception of Frisco.

The retail development on this site has the very real potential to enhance the business and growth trends experienced in Frisco. The effectiveness of the Town’s Summit Blvd. Overlay District ordinance has been demonstrated by several recent successful developments. Conoco, Wendy’s and Taco Bell are enhancing the charm and character of Summit Blvd.

These land-use codes along with a Request for Proposal (RFP) approach that will include the involvement of the community in working with a developer, allows the development of a project that enhances the Summit Blvd. business environment and contributes to the overall character and charm of Frisco.

Sound Financial Future

Staff evaluated the options and alternatives while keeping the long-term picture in mind. This decision will impact the Town’s ability, not just tomorrow, but for decades to come, to provide for the community of Frisco.

If we are to be a proactive organization and not a reactive one, action is necessary now to ensure the Town’s sound financial future in providing for the services and amenities desired by residents and visitors alike.

he capability to provide for intentional future planning and having the capability to address the future needs of the community is better public policy than reacting to variables that we are not able to control. A sound financial situation is a key to becoming a proactive and community focused operation.

The details associated with the analysis will be presented to Council at the February 8th Town Council meeting outlining the final analysis and reasoning for the staff recommendation in a Power Point presentation.

Staff Recommendation:

A well-integrated and designed retail development on the 9.4-acre parcel provides for the fiscal growth necessary to ensure the Town’s ability to meet the future needs of the community. We can accomplish our responsibilities as fiscal stewards of this community while enhancing Frisco’s unique mountain character and charm.

On that basis, it is my RECOMMENDATION that the Council:

Move to approve Resolution 05-16, a resolution supporting the disposition of Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transfer Center, 120 Lusher Court, known as the 9.4 acre parcel, and declaring Council support of a predominately retail use on such site.

Town of Frisco

County of Summit

State of Colorado

Resolution 05-16

A RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE DISPOSITION OF LOT 2A, SUMMIT STAGE TRANSFER CENTER, 120 LUSHER COURT; KNOWN AS THE 9.4 ACRE PARCEL, AND DECLARING COUNCIL SUPPORT OF PREDOMINATELY RETAIL USE ON SUCH SITE.

WHEREAS, the Town of Frisco purchased Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transfer Center, 120 Lusher Court; known as the 9.4 acre parcel from Summit County Government for commercial developmental purposes; and

WHEREAS, On September 3, 2002, the Town Council approved the second reading of Ordinance 02-22, which rezoned Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transit Center from Parks and Recreation (PR) to Accommodations District (AC); and

WHEREAS, the purpose of rezoning this parcel to Accommodations District (AC) was to promote the development of a regionally based commercial shopping area which is auto-oriented in nature, to allow for commercial development that may not necessarily be compatible in scale or use with the Central Core District and to locate and expand in an area that is convenient to major through-traffic routes in Summit County; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Frisco has a number of scheduled and future capital projects which the Town is seeking financing for; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Frisco recognizes the long-term economic impact on the disposition of Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transfer Center including the opportunity for available land for sales tax generating business; and

WHEREAS, the Frisco Town Council supports and encourages the development of retail commercial opportunities on Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transfer Center; which will produce a viable, stable long-term sales tax stream establishing a sound financial situation to fund upcoming and future Capital projects.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF FRISCO, COLORADO THAT:

Section 1. The Mayor and Town Clerk are hereby authorized to execute any and all documents related to the disposition of Lot 2A, Summit Stage Transfer Center, 120 Lusher Court; known as the 9.4 acre parcel, and declaring Council support of retail on such site.

INTRODUCED, READ, AND ADOPTED THIS 8TH DAY OF FEBRUARY 2005.


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