Opinion: Get involved with Squaw Valley expansion report
June 9, 2015
It is time to get involved and have your voices heard. The draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Village at Squaw Valley has been issued, with the public comment period ending July 17, 2015.
The document can be found at Placer County's website, with print versions at various local offices. While it is a large and intimidating document, select your area(s) of concern and express your opinion.
You should not have a difficult time finding your particular "hot button" — there are many "significant and unavoidable" impacts (cannot be mitigated) to areas such as Visual Resources (visual character, blockage of views, significant night lighting), Transportation and Circulation (to Squaw Valley Rd, Highway 89, Alpine Meadows Rd), Air Quality, Noise, Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change.
And these are just some of the ones that the County has cited. You may in fact disagree that mitigations for other areas would reduce impacts as much as the dEIR suggests, e.g., water resources.
The comments you write will all be added to the official record and must be responded to in the preparation of the final EIR.
While it is easy to think that the Friends of Squaw Valley, the full time residents, Sierra Watch, or some other group is doing this for you, the volume of written comments that are sent in demonstrate to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors that there is widespread community concern about the impacts of this development.
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To assist you in preparing a written comment, we have provided a guide, found at the Friends of Squaw Valley website.
This guide will also help you navigate the dEIR so that you do not have to attempt reading the entire document (more than 2,000 pages not including 18 appendices and a 5th revision of the Specific Plan).
If you can, please attend the Planning Commission hearing on June 25 at 10 a.m. at the North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings
You can voice your comment if you prefer, although written letters tend to get better attention from the dEIR authors. So, express your opinions, and do both — write and speak. Remember: "Qui tacet consentit" — silence gives consent.
We are in the final lap now (after almost three years) and it is time to get involved. Write your comment letters before July 17, 2015!
Ed Heneveld is chairman of the Friends of Squaw Valley and a 36-year resident of Squaw Valley.