Fraser Valley Parkway inches forward |

Fraser Valley Parkway inches forward

Sarah Morin
For Sky-Hi News
A historic photo shows the Fraser POW camp from a point near the west end of Eisenhower Driver in Fraser. Research has determined the location of the camp is in the proposed pathway of the Fraser Valley Parkway.
Provided by the Grand County Historical Association with annotations by Metcalf Archaeological Consultants

Grand County District I Commissioner Richard Cimino engaged the Fraser Town Board in a discussion about what he called “a pressing issue” for the town of Fraser during the Board’s meeting on March 2: the alternative north-south route from Tabernash to Winter Park, west of US Highway 40, known as the Fraser Valley Parkway or County Road 522.

The concept of a parallel route to US 40 has been under county consideration since the 1980s, and it has gained traction in recent years. County commissioners had a cultural survey done of land and properties bordering the road, including a WWII German prisoner of war camp, which has historical significance. Newly armed with direction and guidance for how to construct the road while preserving the historical significance, Cimio told the board, “We might break ground this year.”

That may be a lofty goal, however, as it would be dependent on approval of the Fraser City Council Members. But with plans for future development surrounding the Fraser Tubing Hill area, Cimino is motivated to begin the further construction of County Road 522.

He said, “This isn’t intended to be a faster route. The intention is to create a curvy, asphalted drive that will appeal to locals and County Road 522 current residents. I think the residents we are going to provide this road for are going to be happy.”

The asphalt and curves will keep the speed down, and there will be room alongside the road for a pedestrian bike trail. “We hope there will be a lot of pedestrian and bike traffic,” he added.

Cimio’s second order of discussion was how to best utilize the Fraser’s 1.8 percent lodging tax., which he believes should be used it to enhance the “guest experience” including people living in affordable employee housing..

“I’d like to do a new master plan (for the town). I’d like to overhaul our zoning. I’d like to allow more density and more auxiliary dwelling units,” he said, noting that he plans to push for the town’s 2023 budget to include these.

As the town works on density restrictions regarding the development of Red Hawk and

Byers Peak Ranch as options for affordable housing,

“I personally want to see a state in which counties and towns can save structures (like Grandma Miller’s compound),” said Cimio. “I think that we could reduce the construction defect laws (in order to) move forward with the affordable housing developments. We have to whittle [the uses] down from a policy side… subsidized affordable housing isn’t the only solution. We need to approach [this issue] from all angles. “

In other business:

– High Country Stampede Rodeo’s funding request was approved by the Fraser Town Council Members.

– Fraser Fire and Ice Festival was a success, with an estimated 600 attendees.

– The Town of Fraser plans to approve this event again next year.

– A joint housing authority meeting will take place at the Fraser Town Hall on Monday, March 14.


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