The Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) will meet this Saturday to make a recommendation on the Village At Squaw Valley Specific Plan. In Placer County, MAC’s are established in unincorporated areas to give advisory input to the Board of Supervisors. The Squaw Valley MAC consists of 7 members appointed by the supervisors. Members are residents, property owners and business owners in the Valley.
This month’s agenda only has one item – making a recommendation on the Village At Squaw Valley Specific Plan. The controversial plan calls for adding more than 1400 new beds to the Village, hundreds of thousands of square feet of retail space and a 90,000 square foot, 108 foot tall indoor water park. A draft Environmental Impact Report last summer identified 23 different “significant and unavoidable impacts from the project. After more than 350 public comments were submitted on the dEIR, there were some minor changes to the plan that decreased some building heights and increased some setbacks to preserve some views within the Valley. Still, when the final EIR was recently released, 20 of those “significant and unavoidable impacts” still remain.
All issues of traffic, visual obstructions, water, green house gases, etc. were erroneously forsaken. Twenty significant and unavoidable impacts remain. – Ed Heneveld in the Sierra Sun
We’re in agreement with the Friends of Squaw Valley, who believes the project is too big. A letter published in last week’s Sierra Sun called for the MAC to approve the alternative version of the Specific plan, which reduces the size of the project by about 50%, and eliminates most of the significant impacts in the EIR.
To be fair, there’s some other letters in this week’s sun that support the project, based on the possibility that it could be a financial boon to some select groups in the area, and in Denver, Colorado. You can find those letters here and here.
Ultimately, the Squaw Valley MAC is a very small group of people charged with giving an advisory position on a very big project. Although they may have gained some concessions from the project applicant, Squaw Valley Real Eastate, it’s not near enough. The project, as proposed, would have far reaching impacts, well beyond the boundary of the Squaw Valley community. That’s why there was opposition to the project from the town of Truckee, businesses all over North Lake Tahoe, and from visitors from across the globe.
It’s important that there be good attendance at Saturday’s MAC meeting to let them know that the current plan is no where near where it should be to protect Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe for everyone. The meeting will be held at 3 pm, Saturday, May 14th at the Mountain Room in the Plumpjack Inn at Squaw Valley.
It’s also important to put May 26th on the calendar, as the Placer County Planning Commission will be making a recommendation on the Village project, with specific details yet to be announced.