The Friends of Squaw Valley is an organization of concerned citizens formed in response to the Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan (VSVSP). It is a forum whose mission is to advocate for environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and aesthetically compatible development in Squaw Valley while preserving its community character.
FoSV Update-April 2015
“A watershed is ‘that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.” John Wesley Powell.
The Squaw Valley watershed is our home. As you are probably aware by now, there is a huge development proposal “on the table.” The proposed Village at Squaw Valley by Squaw Valley Real Estate (SVRE) will forever change our valley and our community. They have not set out a specific set of buildings, but rather a very conceptual layout and set of design guidelines for which they seek entitlements for a build-out (by them or their successors) over the next 25 years. We warn you again, as we have in the past, that any building design, drawings, models, etc you see are merely just possibilities of what the Village might look like. They are not “the proposal”.
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires analysis of the impacts (both individual and cumulative) a project may have on land use; transportation; population and housing; visual, biological and cultural resources; air quality; noise; geology; water; public services; and greenhouse gases and climate change. These impacts, and their proposed mitigations, will be addressed in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Placer County is currently reviewing the draft of the Environmental Impact Report (dEIR) which will be released to the public in late April. Its release will be accompanied by yet another revision to the Specific Plan and, by late summer, an update to the Water Supply Assessment.
There will be a 60 day period following the release of the dEIR, during which the public can express concerns if specific analysis is missing, invalid statements are made, inadequate mitigation measures are proposed, or if something needs revision or is incomplete. Concurrent with the dEIR release, the Friends of Squaw Valley will be holding several workshops to (1) breakdown the dEIR, and (2) assist people, as needed, in how to write dEIR comments.
But we must all keep in mind that the dEIR will address only the environmental impacts of the project. The CEQA process does not address issues such an altering the community character (read water theme park) or market analysis (read ghost village and business closures). These concerns can only be voiced at County meetings such as the Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council, Placer County Planning Commission, or the Placer County Board of Supervisors. In addition, the final stage of the County approval process includes a “Development Agreement” and “Conditions of Approval” document at which time these economic and character issues can again be addressed. These two documents are VERY, VERY important.
This is a critical time in the history of our valley. This is your opportunity to help shape and decide its future. Your comments about the dEIR as well as input to the Development Agreement and Conditions of Approval will set the land use and development guidelines by which this (or any subsequent) developer can build. Your comments need to be timely, specific, and detailed. Only with your input can we hope to have a successful and sustainable future village.
PLEASE NOTE: On Thursday, 3:30, April 2, the Squaw Valley Design Review Committee will provide recommendations on “Mass, Scale, and Heights” of Appendix B Design Guidelines of the Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan. Then at 6pm the SV Municipal Advisory Council will discuss the Village at Squaw Valley Parking Plan as well as the Traffic and Circulation Plan with presentations by Alex Fisch (Senior Planner, Placer County Planning Services), Chevis Hosea (Vice President of Development, SVRE) and Rich Moorehead (Placer County Public Works Manager – Engineering). These meetings will be held at the SVPSD building, 305 SV Main Road. Public comment is welcome.