Opinion: Squaw village redevelopment a benefit on many levels
Read a different view
This week, in preparation of the Aug. 11 Placer County Planning Commission meeting, the Sierra Sun published two opeds about the Village at Squaw Valley redevelopment, one in support of the project by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, and one in opposition, from Sierra Watch’s Tom Mooers.
After five years, over 400 community meetings, four significant project reductions and one of the most comprehensive plan studies in the history of Placer County, The Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan has seen significant change over time.
The project has been reduced by 50 percent since inception, and is just 38 percent of what is allowable per the Squaw Valley General Plan and Land Use Ordinance.
Following are the facts with regard to common questions about The Village at Squaw Valley redevelopment plan:
The Village at Squaw Valley redevelopment project will provide new on-site lodging opportunities for guests who would rather stay in Squaw Valley than drive from other lodging destinations, removing upwards of 2,000 skiers/riders from the road on peak days.
The plan will commit $20 million in one-time and annual fees to transit initiatives, including electric in-village shuttles, alternative-fuel in-valley shuttles and enhanced regional transit initiatives, representing Olympic Valley’s largest transit investment ever.
Congestion on peak days is a regional issue, and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has and will continue to serve as a leader for solutions and progress.
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is an active contributor to the Sustainable Transit Vision led by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association as well as the North Lake Tahoe Express Business planning committee.
Mountain Adventure Camp
The purpose of the Mountain Adventure Camp is to provide four-season activities, training opportunities for athletes, après ski activities for families and things for locals and resort visitors to do when weather does not allow for on-mountain activities.
Plans are in the conceptual stage, but among its possible activities are fitness training, performing arts, zip-lining, simulated sky diving, swimming, therapeutic pools and rock climbing.
The Mountain Adventure Camp is designed to be 96 feet tall at its tallest portion, comparable to a 6-story building, which spans only half of the structure.
Project size, design
Of the 93 acres proposed for redevelopment, only 12 acres will be dedicated to buildings.
The tallest buildings in the plan are 96 feet tall, comparable to a six-story building. Buildings are designed to be varying in height and non-imposing, with step-downs on building wings and in areas adjacent to existing village buildings to create a blended appearance.
Design standards applied to the project address building separation, building stepping, building shape, view corridors and the relationship to the existing village, all of which were reviewed and approved by the local Squaw Valley Design Review Committee after a thorough nine-month process.
Length of build out
Entitlements for the project would permit redevelopment over a 25-year period; however, actual construction will require significantly less time and would be intermittent rather than ongoing.
The 25-year timeline has never been the “duration of construction,” rather it is an estimated redevelopment timeframe to design, build, sell and operate the entire master plan as it relates to market conditions.
The Squaw Valley Public Service District’s Water Supply Assessment indicates that there is enough water in the basin directly under The Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan property to serve both the project and the future cumulative demand within Olympic Valley.
To verify this, the Squaw Valley Public Service District had its water supply and demand analyses peer-reviewed by an independent third party (Dwight L. Smith, PE, PG, Interflow Hydrology).
The Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan has helped advance the most extensive and comprehensive body of science to date in evaluating water in Olympic Valley. More is understood and known today than ever before.
There will be no change in the number of parking spaces available at the resort.
The project plans for two levels of structured parking to accommodate day skiers and employees.
90 percent of the redevelopment would happen on existing asphalt parking lots already zoned for development.
The plan reallocates approximately 30 acres of land zoned for development to non-developable land.
If approved, the project would commit $2 million to the restoration of Squaw Creek, $2 million annually to help fund Olympic Valley environmental initiatives, and $6 million to parks and recreation, including completion of the Squaw Valley bike path, and parking and restroom facilities for the Granite Chief and Shirley Canyon trails.
This column was submitted by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. Visit SquawTomorrow.com to learn more.
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