Placer Supervisors approve Squaw Valley expansion

“Placer County supervisors approved a major expansion at Squaw Valley ski resort despite widespread opposition from residents during an all-day hearing Tuesday in Kings Beach,” as the Bee is reporting.

“Approximately 100 people spoke during the hearing, with a large majority of them in opposition to the project that anticipates construction of hotels, condos and housing of up to 1,500 rooms, up to 300,000 square feet of commercial space and a “mountain adventure center” of 90,000 square feet.

“Many said they moved to the Lake Tahoe area because they wanted a close connection to nature, and the expansion threatens that connection. Some questioned whether a majority of supervisors would listen fairly to their concerns, noting the board’s 4-1 vote last month in favor of a project in nearby Martis Valley that includes construction of 760 homes, despite widespread opposition.

“’People feel a sense of powerlessness,’ Robb Gaffney, an area resident and author of a noted Squaw Valley guidebook, said at the hearing.

“Backers said it will take 25 years to complete construction at the iconic resort near Truckee that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.

“An investment firm in Denver, KSL Capital Partners, introduced the expansion plan about five years ago when it was the relatively new owner of Squaw. The proposal spurred a bitter battle, including an incorporation effort by residents of the Olympic Valley surrounding Squaw. The plan was eventually reduced by more than half.

“Even so, many people objected to the size of the project during the 10-hour hearing Tuesday, saying it would create unmanageable traffic, distract from the area’s beauty and contribute to pollution in nearby Lake Tahoe.”

The rest of the article is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

5 thoughts on “Placer Supervisors approve Squaw Valley expansion”

  1. If you want to see what can happen with ski area development, take a look at some of the Colorado resorts in Summit County. For all the local people who got disgusted with the hyper growth and left those areas, ten more showed up and said it was paradise.

  2. Chronicle writer Peter Fimrite is a friend and former colleague. He has done a good job with this issue: “A sprawling hotel and resort entertainment complex approved in Squaw Valley has laid bare a cultural, economic and philosophical gulf that has for years bedeviled one of the world’s most picturesque mountain retreats.”

  3. Why call it a ski resort? With the paving, rooftops and other heat-producing elements this and similar developments will continue to bring to the Truckee basin, the temperatures will keep rising and there won’t be any snow.

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