Lake Hill, the largest workforce housing project in Summit County to date, is moving forward. The county will once again seek public input as it takes steps toward a final master plan. Summit County planning director Don Reimer said they anticipated finishing the master plan in late September or early October. The entire process began this spring, after the county gained congressional approval to purchase the parcel from the U.S. Forest Service. The 44.8-acre plot of land overlooking the reservoir from the Dillon Dam Road sold for $1.75 million.
“We have goals. This costs a lot of money, but we want to make sure it’s done right,” Reimer said. “If it’s something that literally takes an act of Congress, you’d better make sure you do it right.”
The public will have the opportunity to review drafts and provide feedback at the Sept. 7 open house, located at the Summit County Community and Senior Center in Frisco. Information from previous meetings has been compiled into surveys, reflecting a need for both ownership and rental housing and 2-3 bedroom units over one-bedroom units. The surveys also showed a desire for both a community center and childcare at Lake Hill.
“We’re so appreciative that so many members of our community have taken the time to provide input throughout this process,” Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson said in a statement. “This high level of engagement is allowing us to develop a framework for the neighborhood that’s truly reflective of the community’s needs and desires.”
Reimer said they would consider the surveys while following the framework of Summit County’s housing needs assessment, which will be updated this fall. The current assessment shows a 60-40 split between the need for rental and ownership units.
“We’re still working on breaking out the approximate numbers of for sale or rental units,” Reimer said. “We’re aiming to fulfill as many AMI (area median income) categories as is feasible in this particular property.”
While the previous open house estimated a unit range between 410 and 590 units, Reimer estimated the final number will likely be between 400 and 450 units.
“The feedback has caused us to take another look at that and pare it down a little bit,” Reimer said. “We are trying to find a sweet spot between improvements that are necessary and trying to accommodate the most people.”
While the numbers are not yet set, Reimer said every unit would include some form of deed restriction. The county is also considering how senior housing could be incorporated into the project, while carefully targeting local seniors over out-of-state retirees.
“There was a contingent of advocates for senior housing that have come to open houses,” Reimer said. “I think there is a community desire for some senior housing. I think that can integrate really well in the neighborhood.”
Ultimately, the deed restrictions will be contingent on how the project is funded, to an extent. Reimer said they would apply for Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) funding to help facilitate part of the project. A ballot measure this fall would increase sales tax revenues for workforce housing if passed; and in the case of Lake Hill, would go toward its hefty infrastructure costs.
“This is a pretty important project and we’re going to do everything we can to make it happen,” Reimer said.
The current draft of the master plan combines a mixture of apartments, single-family homes and townhomes, with both rental and ownership opportunities. The final master plan will include recommendations for phasing and more specifics on the architecture.
The three primary goals for the project include offering a mixture of housing styles, serving a variety of income levels, and creating the opportunity for residents to have mobility to upsize or downsize within the community.
The proposed site design should make the best use of Lake Hill’s south-facing slopes. Each residential unit will have access to open space according to the current plan, linking all residences through a greenbelt, trails and a community center.
While some nearby residents have expressed concerns about access to the development from the Dillon Dam Road, road improvements and traffic calming strategies are part of the plan. At this point, Reimer said they were considering two roundabouts to provide access to the development, and possibly improving the intersection at Summit Boulevard as well.
“We’re hoping to work with some of our partners to help facilitate improvements there,” Reimer said.
Other proposals include adding bike lanes and sidewalks along the Dam Road and adding Summit Stage bus stops at the two entrances.
Once the master plan is finished this fall, the county will begin to rezone and subdivide the project. Infrastructure construction is slated for the spring and summer of 2017, with the goal of breaking ground on phase one of the project in 2018.
In addition to working closely with the town of Frisco’s planning department, the county selected Corum Real Estate Group to lead a consultant team of Gorman & Company Inc., Norris Design, Shopworks Architecture, Studio PBA and Tetra Tech to create the master plan.
“We encourage everyone to get involved in this final round of discussion. The more input we receive, the better positioned we’ll be to design a neighborhood for locals that meaningfully supports their quality of life and Summit County’s overall sense of community,” Davidson said.