Squaw Valley resort requests approval for development | SierraSun.com

Squaw Valley resort requests approval for development

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra SunThe Squaw Valley Public Service District hosted a workshop for the community with speakers from the Resort at Squaw Creek, experts on the water situation, and representatives from the Resort. They requested that the board of directors and the community support Phase 2 of their project with a will-serve letter.
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The Resort at Squaw Creek requested approval, again, from the Squaw Valley Public Service District to go forward with the second phase of its development.

The district hosted a workshop on Wednesday evening for more than 40 representatives from the community, utility district, board of directors and Resort at Squaw Creek. The forum covered details of the resort’s request, as well as a presentation on groundwater modeling.

“We’re not going to use any more water … resulting in no impact,” said Cam Kicklighter, director of development for the Resort.

The purpose of the workshop was education, and no decisions were to be made following the discussion, said Rick Lierman, general manager of the service district.

The resort is requesting a will-serve letter from the utility district, for water and sewer service, before they can begin construction on the second phase of their project, a 200-plus condominium project. The condominium project would mark the end of the development of the resort, which began in 1990. The project has been approved by Placer County, but requires sanction from the district before moving forward with construction.

Once the district grants the will-serve letter, the district board of directors will advise the Resort as to the appropriate environmental review process to undergo before beginning the development.

Because Squaw Valley has an extensive history of water issues, including both quantity and clarity, numerous reports have been done regarding the impacts of pumping on the aquifer and the creek.

“[There is] compelling evidence that we [the Resort] are no impact,” Kicklighter said.

In an effort to reduce or eliminate significant impacts to both the aquifer and Squaw Creek, the Resort has agreed to the following, which they believe benefits the valley: reducing golf course irrigation, dedicating a well to the public service district, a community benefit fund, relocation of certain wells away from Squaw Creek, cooperation with the district for water monitoring, a provided site for a future water treatment site, and complying with the groundwater modeling plan.

Time is of the essence for the Resort, according to Roger Beck, Resort at Squaw Creek’s managing director.

The district’s will-serve letter is needed before March of 2007, according to Beck.

Without the district’s go-ahead, Placer County’s approval of the project will expire and the Resort will need to re-apply with the county as a new project, Lierman said.

“We do believe, that the benefits [of having the Resort] far exceed the cost, whether dollar or environmental,” Kicklighter said.

Kicklighter argued that contributions from the Resort, such as well relocation and a community fund, help the valley’s overall health and prosperity.

Because the workshop was a no-action meeting and intended solely for educational and informational purposes, the district board of directors will next meet Dec. 13 to discuss requirements for conducting environmental reviews, said Lierman.

SIDEBAR

The Resort at Squaw Creek proposes the following in its request for a will-serve letter from the Squaw Valley Public Service District in order to go forward with Phase Two of development ” a 200-plus condominium project:

– Significant golf course irrigation rollback

– Dedication of well (18-3R) to the district

– Community benefit fund

– Relocation of two wells away from Squaw Creek

– Cooperation with the district to monitor water use

– Possible site for future water treatment

– Compliance with groundwater modeling plan