My Turn: Visit the village model at Squaw Valley
If you already know something about the proposed village expansion at Squaw Valley, and if you are already concerned — one way or another, or even if you don’t know anything about it — you should go and view the Squaw Valley village model and pick up a copy of their brochure.
The model covers the whole 101-plus acres proposed to be developed, and is at a scale of one inch equals 30 feet. Be aware that the model is just a model, and therefore is not precisely accurate, and that changes are being made to it.
I suggest that you listen to the knowledgeable attendant’s presentation, and then ask any questions that occur to you. You might ask about the daily water and energy consumption of the planned water park (the water temperature will likely be about 86 degrees, 24 hours a day all year long), or about where the snow making and maintenance garage will be located, or about the proposed emergency road to the Resort at Squaw Creek, or about provision for day-skier parking, or about impaired views from the existing village structures, or about sight lines to views of the mountains, or about the heights of the planned structures relative to the existing structures.
Consider, too, how large the footprint of the expanded village is in regard to that of the existing village, and think about the closeness and massiveness of the planned village as a whole. Also consider how large the footprint of the expanded village is in regard to that of the existing village, and think about the closeness and massiveness of the planned village as a whole.
Before you leave check out the architectural drawings on the walls and contrast their heaviness and darkness with that of the existing village’s buildings, study the brochure at some point, and perhaps go back and ask exactly where the silver mining occurred in or near Squaw Valley, exactly how emissions are actually going to be reduced, why the Squaw Creek alterations are referred to as restoration when they essentially preserve the present hydrologically dysfunctional straight channel, why the potential distant adverse effects on Tahoe City and Truckee businesses are ignored in favor of touting the local Le Chamois as a support for regional businesses, why the brochure asserts that all of the proposed development is on disturbed land when roads and houses are planned for the pristine forested mountain slope above the Olympic Village Inn, and also ask when the developer will hold their next local meeting as advertised.
Finally, you might ask if all of the $30 million per year projected to be raised in taxes from the development will really come to the Squaw Valley region, or whether a large part wouldn’t end up being expended elsewhere in Placer County.
By the way, these suggestions in no way apply to the improvements that Squaw Valley Ski Holdings is making on the mountain itself. I look forward to a modern Red Dog (and perhaps even a Resort?) lift.
Dave Brew is a Squaw Valley homeowner.
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