Opinion: Squaw Valley redevelopment needed for vibrant future | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Squaw Valley redevelopment needed for vibrant future

The proposed redevelopment of Squaw Valley is a hot topic for many of us who call this playground our home; a home that many of us discovered, compared and chose over somewhere else.

It's no surprise the proposed changes are scrutinized by the people most affected. To be part of this working class community, we must brave harsh weather, seasonal friend, and unpredictable paychecks. We work hard for our quality of life and we deserve to be heard, so let's make sure our opinions are based in truth.

The proposed redevelopment takes place on approximately 93 acres of already disturbed land, with the tallest building set at 96 feet. In the process, 21 acres of currently developed land will be returned to green space.

The total project may be up to a $1 billion investment in our community with intermittent construction over a 25 year period. Of that amount, $179 million will be invested in community infrastructure such as bike paths, parks, trails and playgrounds.

New wells will improve water supply, and the stream rehabilitation will enhance downstream water quality and fish habitat. Six hundred year-round jobs will be added with 300 beds of affordable employee housing.

At build-out, the economic impact will yield an additional $26 million annually in tax revenue that can be used to improve roads, parks and transit services.

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Currently we depend on great weather to entice visitors to fuel our local economy with their discretionary dollars that put food our tables and gas in our tanks. With the proposed redevelopment, we'll see additional lodging options and more weather resistant activities that entice destination travelers who book their vacations in advance and stay an average of five days.

This means more midweek discretionary spending and ultimately better economic security for everyone who calls North Lake Tahoe home.

Joshua Thompson-Bourrie

Olympic Valley

Learn more

Visit bit.ly/1NkGggZ to view the final EIR for the Squaw project. Visit bit.ly/1Hfvg0g to learn more about the Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan.