Squaw Valley officials plan to tweak village expansion
July 24, 2014
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — More adjustments are being made to the Village at Squaw Valley expansion plan in response to feedback on the latest proposal, a resort official said.
Since a scaled-back version of the village expansion proposal was released in December 2013, two lingering issues are the scale of the buildings and the perceived value of Mountain Adventure Camp, said Chevis Hosea, vice president of development for the Olympic Valley ski resort.
"… Once we suffer a little pain, once the community suffers a little pain, you're probably starting to get pretty close to where something is acceptable to all the parties," Hosea said during Monday's Placer County Board of Supervisors workshop. "We're hopefully getting close to there. We are working to try to resolve the remaining issues of the plan."
When asked in a follow-up interview to elaborate, Hosea said further public education efforts on Mountain Adventure Camp are being done. Also, building orientations are being modified, along with distance between structures and their proximity to property lines.
"You're not going to see any shorter buildings," he said. "We're down to the bone in regard to height. If we start spreading out, we're going right back to where we were."
Modifications will be included in the project's draft Environmental Impact Report, which is expected to be released in late December 2014 or early January 2015.
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Included in the draft will be the Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan Water Supply Assessment, which found that a "sufficient supply" of water exists in Olympic Valley to support the proposed expansion project and other future demands.
The final WSA is scheduled to be presented to the Squaw Valley Public Service District board of directors on July 29.
As for the development's draft EIR, Jennifer Montgomery, District 5 supervisor for Placer County, said she would like to see a 60-day public review period, if not longer.
The project currently calls for the development of up to 1,493 bedrooms, 850 lodging units, the 90,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Camp recreation facility and other amenities.
"We think that this plan is … a return to Squaw Valley's past — and that was being one of the preeminent destinations in North America," said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. "It used to be there in the '50s, '60s, and '70s, and it stood still in time for quite awhile, and one of those reasons is the quality of lodging."
Project buildout is proposed in phases over 25 years, with construction aimed to start in spring 2016.
"Clearly, this is a very important project for Squaw Valley and the region, plus Placer County," said Jim Holmes, District 3 Supervisor, during Monday's workshop at Squaw. "We're looking forward to seeing something dramatic, but not over dramatic."
The supervisors' workshop and tour of the resort were part of their two-day meeting Monday and Tuesday at Olympic Valley.