Too many questions remain to vote for Home Depot
Now the battle lines are clearly drawn.
Now it is up to the voters to decide ” in a referendum Dec. 13 which itself is only occurring because the recalcitrant Council faced popular revolt last April against their initial decision to go commercial on this prized piece of land astride I-70.
The plea we concerned citizens made Tuesday night was for the Council to wait for more information on vital unanswered questions on the proposed project. These questions, all crucial to the future of our town, have been largely ignored or papered over in the Frisco Town Council’s rush to embrace the alleged benefits of the big box.
Shouldn’t there be an impartial study of the impact on local traffic patterns, which according to a comparable study by CDOT, will be transformed by having more than 1,000 cars an hour traverse the area at peak periods?
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What will happen in the Frisco Reserve and neighboring residential areas as would-be big box customers seek alternative ways around the bottlenecks on Summit Boulevard, itself already clogged with summer tourist and winter skier traffic to Breckenridge?
Will there need to be new separate entry and exit ramps to and from I-70, and at whose expense, and with what impact on all the roads leading to and from Frisco?
Then, what of the environmental impact of having a large asphalt parking lot as a potential block for drainage of the neighboring wetlands; further, does Home Depot’s documented and quite dismal record on pollution control give us any confidence in how environmental problems will be handled?
What also of the overall economic impact on Frisco town businesses, not only on Main Street, but also on Ten-Mile Drive and Summit Boulevard, if this Big Box moves in?
The list goes on and on. It includes questions about Home Depot labor practices (as documented from their new store at Avon), where are the workers to come from and how are they to be housed in our determinedly affluent community?
Then, if the overriding need is for increased revenue from the promised bonanza of sale taxes, how sure are we really that the bonanza will materialize?
Also, what about the possibility of finding alternative sources of income if we were to forego the largesse of the big box; or, equally feasible, how about re-examining whether the people of this town really want all the future amenities now in the budget, whose funding seems to be the immediate spur for chasing the supposed big box rainbow?
Finally, there is the issue of a site for the consolidated campus of Colorado Mountain College (CMC) ” an issue once at the heart of deciding what to do with this 9.4-acre parcel, but now quietly shoved under the carpet by the town council.
True, the powers-that-be at CMC evidently have opted for a different site on the Dam Road at Frisco city limits, but the Frisco Town Council ” in rushing to conclude their deal with Home Depot Tuesday evening ” did not formally commit to accepting the CMC site or give any indication of the financial obligations involved in getting it.
All this, contrary to past pledges.
To be sure, these are all difficult questions. We who are raising them do not have the answers.
But neither does the council, or its staff. But worse, they refuse to confront them. To their great shame, the majority of Frisco town council has opted to continue down the road with Home Depot before seeking impartial investigation.
In the end, we voters of Frisco are left without a basis for making an informed decision Dec. 13.
Members of the Council answered it would be up to Home Depot to answer these questions in the coming “planning process” with the town staff.
In other words, Frisco voters are to ratify the council decision based on information supplied by the chief beneficiary of the project. Impartial?
The majority of the town council are guilty of shirking a major responsibility to the people of Frisco.
I am not willing to leave the answers to these vital questions about our future to Home Depot. In our present state of ignorance, and with no independent information forthcoming to correct that ignorance, I urge fellow Frisco voters to reject this ill-conceived and badly executed big box project.
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