When the Placer County Planning Commission voted earlier this month to deny the proposed Martis Valley West project, they did so based on the proposal’s impacts on traffic, fire safety and Lake Tahoe. If they apply that same standard to their review of the proposed Village at Squaw Valley, they should reach the same conclusion — and vote to deny that project, too.
In terms of traffic, Martis Valley West, as the commission learned, would guarantee gridlock. It would add 3,985 daily car trips to existing traffic, clogging roads from Kings Beach to Truckee and everywhere in between. The Squaw proposal? It would add 8,410 daily car trips to our traffic mess — more than twice as much as Martis Valley West.
For fire safety, the review for Martis projected it would take residents and employees 1.5 hours just to leave the property in the event of wildfire. The Squaw proposal? It would take more than 10 hours to evacuate the valley — just to get to Highway 89 — when wildfire strikes.
And, when it comes to Lake Tahoe, the commission learned how the Martis West project would threaten the clarity of the lake itself — mostly from the 1,395 cars the project would pump into the basin daily. The Squaw proposal? It would be even worse for Tahoe — adding almost twice the traffic to the basin, posing twice the threat to the lake’s famous clear, blue waters.
On July 7, the Planning Commission voted to deny Martis Valley West. Now they are faced with an even bigger development proposal. On August 11, they’ll take up the proposed Village at Squaw Valley. If they ask the same questions about Squaw they did about Martis — and judge the project based on its impacts to traffic, fire safety, and Tahoe, the answers should lead to the same conclusion — and a vote to deny.
Tom Mooers, Nevada City
We expect that Thursday’s meeting of the Planning Commission is going to be very crowded. For those from Squaw Valley, think KT-22 on a powder day and plan accordingly. For those from Alpine Meadows, use those “running of the bullies” skills that you learned for Summit powder days last season. Whatever you do, don’t give up – stand up for the best future for Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows and the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee region.