Squaw council votes to advise Placer County to shun development plan
May 18, 2016
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — The Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council this weekend voted to recommend that Placer County deny proposed development plans for The Village at Squaw Valley.
Steve Kastan, the Tahoe Field Representative for County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery's 5th district, said as many as 250 to 300 people attended Saturday's special meeting, which was convened so the Squaw Valley MAC could discuss the controversial development.
"It was the largest Squaw Valley MAC meeting I've ever attended … I've been doing this off and on for 20 years," Kashtan said Tuesday. "Definitely the biggest turnout I've seen for a MAC meeting."
After county staff updated the council on the project, Squaw Valley Real Estate's Chevis Hosea spoke further about the plan to develop an all-season resort community, as outlined in the project's final Environmental Impact Report.
It proposes construction of up to 850 lodging units, with a maximum of 1,493 bedrooms; nearly 300,000 square feet of tourist-serving commercial space, while decommissioning about 92,000 square feet of existing commercial space; and the 90,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Camp for indoor and outdoor recreation, among other improvements.
After council questions, 24 members of the public offered comment, said Kastan — four of whom were "definitely supportive of" the proposal, while 20 people "had issues with the project."
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The council eventually voted 4-0 to recommend Placer County deny the current proposal, indicating it would consider a proposal at roughly 50 percent of the current size — including unit count, commercial square footage and parking — should the county choose to deny the project in favor of another environmental study down the road.
The Squaw MAC includes seven council members — three of whom recused themselves from Saturday's vote, Kastan said, as two had published opinions about the project prior to the meeting, while a third member lives within 500 feet of the project, and thus too close to the proposed development.
The MAC's recommendation is advisory only, meaning it will be forwarded to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for consideration.
A Placer County Planning Commission public hearing on the project is tentatively slated for late May, with final action anticipated before the county's Board of Supervisors this summer, according to previous reports.
MARTIS VALLEY WEST UPDATE
In related news, the North Tahoe Regional Municipal Advisory Council met on May 12 in Tahoe City for its monthly meeting, with the Martis Valley West development plan — which proposes 760 residential units in Martis Valley on 662 acres, west of Highway 267 and outside of the Lake Tahoe Basin — highlighting the agenda.
The project's final Environmental Impact Report was released May 3; as proposed, the plan would allow Mountainside Partners to build residential and commercial parcels on the Martis Valley West Specific Plan's west parcel, located southeast of the Northstar Resort and east of Sawmill Reservoir.
Roughly 40 residents attended the meeting, Kastan said, and a total of 10 people spoke during public comment, all of whom "had issues" with the proposal.
After comment, the North Tahoe MAC voted 5-1 to recommend that the Placer County Planning Commission "postpone action on this item for 30 days, to allow for ample time to review the final EIR … and that the Planning Commission be aware there are significant concerns with the project," Kastan said.
Similar to Saturday's vote at Squaw, the North MAC's recommendation on May 12 is advisory only, meaning it will be forwarded to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for consideration.
According to previous reports, a public hearing before the Placer County Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled for June 9.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors will also hold a public hearing before making the final ruling, likely sometime this summer.