Squaw Valley, county feud over resort construction
OLYMPIC VALLEY – For the second time in less than a year, Squaw Valley Ski Corp. is in violation of a stop work permit, according to Placer County officials.
On the afternoon of Oct. 6, Squaw Valley Ski Corp. was issued a stop work order on the Gold Coast/Head Wall Express project.
However, the Ski Corp. continued to work on the project Oct. 7-11, according to Brad Haglund with Placer County Public Works. Haglund said he checked the sites personally, but hadn’t gone out on Tuesday to see if work was still continuing.
“The stop work permit was issued to Squaw on Oct. 6 at 3:15 p.m. and they are still building,” Haglund said.
Alex Cushing, however, the founder and president of Ski Corp., is adamant that the resort is not in violation of any stop work orders.
“No, we’re not violating any stop work orders,” Cushing said. “We’re not doing any work there until we get this straightened out at the moment.”
“I have photos from every day I’ve been up there since the stop work order,” he said. “The bottom line is, what’s being constructed is not what is shown on the plans.”
This stop work order issued last Wednesday has nothing to do with the stop work order issued during Funitel construction in December.
“This has to do with the Gold Coast/Headwall Express project,” Haglund said.
According to Haglund, on Sept. 17 at 1 p.m., he issued a notice of noncompliance to Squaw Valley Ski Corp. on the Gold Coast/Headwall Express ski lift. He told Ski Corp. to stop work on the parking rail portion of the lower terminal for Headwall.
“I told them to not continue work in that area without approved revisions and when they continued drainage in the area, that’s when I issued the stop work notice on Oct. 6,” Haglund said. “They went and started moving drainage around and installing culverts with no approved plans for this.”
Cushing, however, said he was aware of the noncompliance issue and that the work was stopped on Sept. 17 when the notice arrived.
“No, we’re not doing any work,” Cushing said. “We replaced a culvert in the vicinity of the lift, but we discussed that with them (the county) ahead of time and they approved that.”
Cushing did say that this work could have been done despite the stop work orders, but he said it was something completely different and had nothing to do with the order.
“There’s confusion here and I’m trying to straighten it out,” Cushing said.
Haglund agrees there’s confusion as well.
“I think there’s a confusion of what is permitted and what is not permitted,” Haglund said. “The original plans show a foundation for the drive unit of the lift only, it does not show the foundation structure for the operator shack and parking rail which are being built.”
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