Environmental report out for multi-acre Lake Tahoe ski resort expansion | SierraSun.com

Environmental report out for multi-acre Lake Tahoe ski resort expansion

Staff report
The Squaw Valley village proposal at buildout can be seen in this model that can be viewed by the public at Base Camp, located next to Wanderlust Yoga Studio on First Street in the village.
File photo |

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Visit thevillageatsquaw.com to learn more about the latest Squaw Valley village expansion plan.

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — The major development proposal to construct lodging, commercial space and an indoor/outdoor recreation facility at Squaw Valley would result in several significant, unavoidable environmental impacts.

According to a recently released draft environmental impact report for the Squaw Valley expansion project, those impacts are associated with cultural and visual resources, transportation and circulation, noise, greenhouse gases, and climate change, another other potential impacts.

The Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan, which has undergone previous scaled-down revisions, proposes construction of up to 1,493 bedrooms, provided in up to 850 units, including a mixture of hotel, condo hotel, fractional ownership, and timeshare units.

It also proposes roughly 297,733 square feet of tourist-serving commercial space, including hotel common areas, conference rooms, retail, and restaurant, among others. Further, roughly 91,522 square feet of existing commercial space would be removed.

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READ MORE: More studies under way on potential Squaw development impacts to region’s water supply.

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The proposed 90,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Camp, meanwhile, would offer an extensive indoor/outdoor pool system, including water slides and other water-based recreation.

East of the village, employee amenities such as housing, recreational facilities and parking are planned, for an overall project footprint of about 94 acres.

The draft EIR, which dissects several project alternatives, also lists the following “major areas of controversy” for the project, based on public comments received:

• water supply availability,

• effects on Squaw Creek,

• visual effects of tall buildings on existing views,

• changes in the character of Olympic Valley; and

• traffic impacts along Squaw Valley Road and Highway 89.

Buildout is estimated to take 25 years, with construction proposed to begin as early as spring 2016, if approved.

According to Placer County, the draft EIR’s 60-day public review began Monday May 18. The deadline for public comment is 5 p.m. July 17.

Comments should be mailed to Placer County Community Development Resource Agency, Environmental Coordination Services, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, Auburn, CA 95603, Attention: Maywan Krach; faxed to 530-745-3080; or emailed to cdraecs@placer.ca.gov.

Public comments will also be taken at a June 25 hearing, scheduled for 10:05 a.m. in the North Tahoe Event Center at 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach.

Hard copies are available during normal business hours at the Tahoe City Library (740 North Lake Blvd.), Truckee Library (10031 Levon Ave.), Squaw Valley Public Service District (305 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley), Community Development Resource Agency (775 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City), and in Auburn (3091 County Center Drive).

Click here to download the electronic copy, which includes several hundred pages.

Look to a future print edition of the Sierra Sun for analysis and reaction to the draft report’s conclusions and recommendations.