BOCC learns it likes Frisco’s housing idea |

BOCC learns it likes Frisco’s housing idea

The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) thought it objected to Frisco’s plan for affordable housing on U.S. Forest Service land on the Dam Road.

Then two commissioners had their Ten Mile Master Plan read to them.

The plan contemplates an affordable housing project as appropriate for Forest Service property west of the Dam Road, and north of the LakeForest condo complex.

Beating a good-natured retreat, Commissioners Gary Lindstrom and Bill Wallace agreed the idea has its merits as they dined with Frisco elected officials Tuesday in a regular get-together to discuss mutual concerns.

Frisco’s affordable housing idea is just that, at this point.

“It comes right out of our affordable housing master plan,” Frisco Assistant Town Manager Theresa Casey said.

According to Casey, Frisco eyes a land trade that could result in an affordable housing complex nestled on a bench between the Dam Road and Interstate 70.

The plan calls for 72 units. Casey said no decision is made on whether the units would be for sale or rent.

The town is willing to trade 35 acres it owns in the North Ten Mile Creek watershed for 45 acres along the Dam Road, next to LakeForest. Some 24 acres of the parcel would be dedicated to open space to maintain a buffer between development and remaining Forest Service land, a strip that runs all the way to the Dillon Dam.

According to Casey, much is preliminary, and the next step in dealing with the Forest Service is a land appraisal. She said an over valued appraisal could send the town looking elsewhere for housing sites.

Casey said Forest Service land transfers come in two varieties – locally administrated and authorized by Congress.

She said this one probably would fall to Congressional approval due to the location and intended use of the property.

Western Land Group, a major broker of Forest Service land trades, is the town’s consultant on the deal.

If the project proceeds, the town would offer the “free” land to put under a privately developed project. This is the same basic concept the town is directing at its site across from Frisco Elementary School.

Lindstrom, who thought he was the big BOCC objector to the idea, pledged to help the town on its search for affordable housing sites.

On the subject of land trades, the county commissioners are proceeding on a complicated Forest Service land trade that would bring 17 acres behind the County Commons under county ownership.

This is the piece of land which would be home to a new Centura-owned county medical center and a doctors office building owned and operated by High Country Health.

Water – surprise! – is a big issue in the medical center planning. Water rights, as well as wet water, will have to be supplied to the project.

Wallace said Frisco would not be asked to supply all of the water.

He said each local government would be asked to participate, and by the way, if Frisco foresees an objection, it would be good to know it now.

“I don’t think anybody around this table wants to be a deal-breaker for the hospital,” Frisco Mayor Bob Moscatelli said.

Wallace would only venture in public forum that negotiations for the new medical center complex remain “positive.”

Editor Jim Pokrandt can be reached at (970) 668-3022; or by e-mail at

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