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March 20, 2014
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Handful of comments so far for Squaw expansion as deadline nears

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — The deadline to comment on the latest Squaw Valley village expansion proposal that aims to add more lodging and amenities to the historic Olympic ski area is fast approaching.

Feedback will be accepted until 5 p.m. Monday, March 24, on the revised Notice of Preparation for the Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan.

As of Wednesday morning, fewer than 10 comments have been received, all from private residents, said Alex Fisch, senior planner for Placer County Planning Services.

Common concerns include the scale and intensity of the project; impacts to water supply, traffic and noise; and aesthetics on the scaled-back proposal that was unveiled in mid-December 2013, he said.

Some major adjustments in this third reworking of the project include:

Reduction in project footprint from 101.5 acres to approximately 94 acres (85 acres in the Main Village area and roughly 9 acres in the East Parcel.)

Reduction in proposed bedrooms from 2,184 to 1,493, a 33 percent decrease.

Reduction in lodging units from 1,093 to 750.

Reduction in size of Mountain Adventure Camp (previously called Grand Camp) from 132,000 square feet to about 90,000 overall, and 90,000 square feet to 50,000 in footprint.

Preservation of the Member’s Locker Room and Olympic House, previously slated to be replaced by high-end hotels.

In response to these changes, Placer County issued a revised NOP to allow for public and agency comment on the scope and content of an Environmental Impact Report.

All comments on environmental issues received will be considered and addressed in the draft EIR, according to Placer County. Comments received on the original NOP that was issued Oct. 10, 2012, will also be included.

A draft EIR should be prepared by this fall or early winter, Fisch said, and be circulated for public review before creation of a final EIR — the release date which is unknown.

Squaw’s goal is to begin project construction in 2016. It’s estimated to take 20 to 25 years to complete.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 20, 2014 05:27PM Published Mar 23, 2014 01:01PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.