Opinion: Why we support development of the Village at Squaw Valley
The following is an open letter to the Placer County Board of Supervisors, which was sent to the Sierra Sun for publication as a My Turn guest column. It has been edited slightly for grammar or space reasons.
Dear Placer County Supervisors,
We are condominium owners in Squaw Valley who support thoughtful investments in the Valley that bode well for Squaw as a year-round destination resort.
We believe we are typical of the 1,175 multi-family residential unit owners who account for nearly seventy percent of the 1,700 total residential housing units in Squaw Valley. Our properties are the source of a material portion of the property tax revenue generated by Squaw Valley and substantially all of the Transient Occupancy Tax.
It is our observation and opinion that property owners in Squaw Valley, be they single family or condominium, primary or second homeowners, generally support the further development and refinement of the base Village.
The issues in debate are the scope of the project and the resolution of environmental impacts about which there are reasonable and opposing points of view. We trust these issues will be justly mitigated and/or addressed in the Development Agreement between Squaw Valley Real Estate (SVRE) and Placer County.
Therefore, we are writing to express our general support for the further development of Squaw Valley as proposed by SVRE in its revised plan submitted in May 2015 and further revised per agreement with the Squaw Valley Design Review Committee.
As noted above, there are certain aspects of the plan that require further refinement, but on balance the plan appears to be a good one. In response to community input, the overall project was reduced by over 50%, dropping bedrooms from 3,097 to 1,493.
It proposes to undertake restoration of Squaw Creek which was badly manipulated to accommodate the 1960 Olympics; it completes a half finished Village; it creates an indoor recreation area which contributes positively to the transformation of Squaw Valley into a year round resort; and it replaces acres of decaying tarmac and its inefficient parking with an aesthetically acceptable and sensible multi-tier parking facility.
It also proposes to provide a source of sorely needed quality housing for Valley workers, and it creates a well-planned facility for receipt and offloading of goods necessary to support the Valley.
In conclusion, we appreciate your thoughtful consideration of our comments and we urge the Board to carefully evaluate the broad range of potential benefits that such an investment by SVRE could mean to the citizens of North Lake Tahoe, outdoor enthusiasts throughout Northern California, and particularly to all the stakeholders in Squaw Valley.
This letter was submitted by The Squaw Valley Homeowners Association Board of Directors Forum”, a forum of Squaw Valley homeowner association board members and/or their designees dedicated to the sharing of information and ideas.” HOA Forum Members endorsing this letter include: Christopher Armstrong, Mik Bajka, Vladimir Bazjanac, Keith Fountain, Peter Grant, John Hart, David Isacowitz, Kathryn Luhe, Kathryn Rees, Sandy Richert, Maggie Shane, Raymond Tong and David Walters.
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I thought I’d spend the morning at the county supervisors meeting this week.