Guest Column: Squaw’s real true character
April 8, 2014
Last week's "Our Turn: Squaw's true character, leadership — a positive impact on community" cries out for a response and here it is.
This item is likely the start of a Squaw Valley Real Estate/Squaw Valley Ski Holdings/KSL campaign to influence our community attitudes before the really critical Draft Environmental Impact Report about the proposed Squaw Valley Village expansion is released some time in the next few months.
Expect a well-orchestrated and well-funded PR blitz from KSL.
Most readers may not realize that all or most of the signatories to the letter (and I respect them all as individuals, athletes, and for their dedication to Squaw Valley/KSL) have some kind of linkage to Squaw Valley. So their collective opinion is predictable. Again, most readers probably don't know this.
So, was the referenced article written and orchestrated by Squaw Valley? The answer, in my opinion, is undoubtedly yes.
Those who put the letter together still don't get it. Most of us applaud the improvements on the mountain itself, and look for more of the same. Plus, we're glad to see Andy back, even though we disagree with him.
It is important to understand that those of us who seriously question KSL's effort to develop and oversize an inappropriate village at the base of our favorite mountain don't oppose expansion of the village.
We actually urge that KSL, the distant private securities firm that owns Squaw Valley, together with Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and Squaw Valley Real Estate, get behind a revised specific village expansion project that would do three things, all of which are supported here by many of us who have been around here for a while (pre-KSL):
It would be good for the local and regional environment.
It would be good for the Squaw Valley and our nearby communities.
It would conform to the guidelines and ordinances that are in our Squaw Valley 1983 General Plan and Land Use Ordinances.
Unfortunately, the Specific Plan and Notice of Preparation for the village expansion that have been presented to us recently do not satisfy these three requirements. Read the comments on both that have been prepared and submitted to Placer County. All of these are available on the Placer County website.
I personally hope all of the signatories to the referenced letter read the Specific Plan and NOP before signing the letter and had therefore made a personal and well-considered judgment to support the present expansion proposal. If they hadn't done so, then I hope that they do soon.
Dave Brew is a Squaw Valley homeowner.