My Turn: Squaw, Alpine literally out of scale
October 25, 2013
Jacqui Granfield's letter ("Disgusted at bias on Squaw project"; Sierra Sun, Sept. 19, 2013) highlighted the scale of the proposed village expansion at Squaw Valley. Her letter was in response to the front-page article in the Sun on August 30.
That article titled: "Developer: Proposed upgrade 'actually quite small in scale'" featured three excellent photographs of the large Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows model now on display at Squaw, accompanied by a text describing the developer's opinions and intentions.
The models are excellent in many ways, and I urge everyone interested to view them. However, like most models, they are not complete or accurate. They lack some salient features that I believe would enhance their impact. This letter is intended to call attention to those enhancements.
The larger model has one feature that is at the least misleading and at the most deceiving. As was announced some months ago, the large model has different horizontal and vertical scales. The vertical scale of that model is 1 inch = 150 feet and the horizontal scale is 1 inch = 130 feet.
This has two effects: (1) The proposed village (and other depicted) structures appear lower and squatter by 15 percent than they would be (or are) in actuality; and (2) the ski slopes look flatter than they really are because they, too, have been made squatter.
Even Rock Garden looks 15 percent easier to me on the model.
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The large model would be greatly enhanced by showing the existing residential structures in the Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley areas; now the viewer is left with the impression that there are no existing communities and that the these resort complexes are totally isolated. Clearly, this is not so.
Further, the Granite Chief Wilderness Area boundary is not shown on the large model; it is about 500 feet west of Troy Caldwell's presently proposed ski lift. This means that the viewer cannot judge how a possible connection between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski areas would necessarily be influenced by proximity to the Wilderness Area.
Finally, the models do not incorporate the latest changes that have been announced publically by a KSL spokesperson; this means that the viewer gets a snapshot of the past, rather than of the somewhat murky present or future. The scale discrepancy could not be fixed easily, although the model attendants could explain it to viewers.
Adding the residences, the wilderness boundary, and the latest changes should not be all that difficult. I urge Squaw Valley Real Estate, LLC, to make these changes.
Dave Brew is a Squaw Valley homeowner.