Others join Squaw Valley in seeking exclusion from proposed town | SierraSun.com

Others join Squaw Valley in seeking exclusion from proposed town

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — Several property owners have joined Squaw Valley ski resort, Squaw Valley Lodge and Resort at Squaw Creek in requesting exclusion from the proposed town of Olympic Valley.

“PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn … feels strongly that we have the appropriate representation from our local government, both county officials and elected official(s), all of whom we support,” wrote Hilary Newsom, president of PlumpJack Group, in a July 29 letter to Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission. “Furthermore, we are concerned about the long-term sustainability of an incorporation effort and the representation that just over 500 local residents will have over the efforts of homeowners and business owners in the valley.”

Similar reasons for seeking exclusion were cited in an Aug. 6 letter to LAFCO written by Eric Poulsen, representing Squaw Valley properties owned by The Poulsen Land Company, Poulsen Commercial Properties, Squaw Valley Gateway Property, Meadows End Homeowners Association and the Pouslen Family Trust, totaling roughly 250 acres.

Other points cited include another layer of government, and with a small voter base, there being a limited pool of “qualified, well educated, informed prospects” available to sit on a town council or board.

“… It should be noted that Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and the Resort at Squaw Creek have also asked to be excluded from the boundaries…” Poulsen wrote. “Some of our parcels are contiguous to those properties, and therefore make the proposed exclusion larger.”

Fred Ilfeld, chair for Incorporate Olympic Valley, the grassroots group pushing for the town’s creation, said he’s “not surprised at some folks wanting to opt out.”

“There are always those with views different from one’s own,” he told the Sun this week. “However, I am surprised by the number of commercial entities that want to opt out. Their reasons that they give in their letters requesting exclusion are bogus … Such things like the town won’t be fiscally viable or that they won’t have enough representation to the decision makers do not hold water.”

HOW MANY WANT OUT?

According to a map produced last month, of the roughly 6,330 acres in the proposed town — which follows the Squaw Valley Public Service District boundary — owners of about 2,722 acres, or 43 percent, are asking to be excluded.

That include lands owned by Squaw Valley, Resort at Squaw Creek, Squaw Valley Lodge, PlumpJack Squaw Valley Inn, Poulsen Family, Troy Caldwell, Painted Rock Estates Homeowners and Village at Squaw Valley, said Dennis Meyer, CEO/president of ANDREGG GEOMATICS, the surveying firm that created the map.

Creation of the map was recommended by Save Olympic Valley, a coalition of valley residents, business owners and property owners who are questioning the incorporation effort, said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

Meyer said various forms of public information was used to prepare the map, a copy of which was obtained this week by the Sierra Sun.

“I think it speaks loudly and clearly that the majority of property owners, all with diverse interests and background, share the very common and undeniable truth that incorporation is very risky notion which provides no real benefit to the community,” Wirth told the Sun this week. “Moreover, this speaks to the ambiguous, confusing and always changing vision held by this handful of people which doesn’t work for either the community of Olympic Valley or the community that is North Lake Tahoe…”

ANOTHER MAP?

Kristina Berry, executive officer of Placer County LAFCO office, said LAFCO will create its own map depicting those who are seeking exclusion from the proposed town through the letters it’s received. The hope is to create one in the next month.

Part of the LAFCO process involves a study into the fiscal viability of the proposed town of Olympic Valley and will include one alternative analysis.

The LAFCO map will help define the boundaries of that alternative analysis, which has yet to be determined, Berry said.

“Specifically prohibited in our incorporation protocols (are a town or city) that would result in any incorporated islands,” she said at a Sept. 10 LAFCO special hearing in Northstar.

Last week it was announced that Citygate Associates, the consultant chosen by LAFCO to perform the comprehensive fiscal analysis and alternative analysis for the Olympic Valley incorporation effort, pulled out.

LAFCO is working on selecting a new consultant by its Oct. 8 meeting, according to previous reports.