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Friends of Squaw Valley Annual Report

The last twelve months have seen wide-ranging proposals for development in Squaw Valley. Just over a year ago the Placer Board of Supervisors approved the Squaw Valley Ski Holding’s (SVSH) Village Development Plan including the Mountain Adventure Center. Shortly thereafter, SVSH proposed the Base-to-Base Gondola project, and just recently SVSH has proposed a “Timberline Twister” roller coaster through the trees adjacent to the Far East lift.

The Friends of Squaw Valley (FOSV) is committed to keeping the community informed about the status and potential issues of each of these projects, organizing for the County meetings where they are reviewed, and at times reaching out to the Squaw Valley community to learn their views.

We Need Your Help!

As you might be aware, the effort to downscale the Village project required a considerable investment in people, time and money, and you have been extremely generous in supporting those activities.  Over the past 12 months these requirements have diminished substantially, but FOSV now finds itself almost out of funds and in need of reaching out to its followers again to bolster its financial resources.   A Go Fund Me page has been set up to accept donations.   No amount is too small.

Donate before the end of year before the tax law changes!!!  Click on the following link…

To justify this request, we would like to update you on the activities and accomplishments of the FOSV over these past 12 months since the Board of Supervisors meeting late last year.

Community Awareness

Perhaps most significant, our online community has grown dramatically over the last year.

  • We published 200 articles of interest on Facebook and had almost 300,000 views.  
  • FOSV “followers” on Facebook increased by over 25% this year.  
  • Our posting on Squaw Safety had over 44,000 views, followed by our posting on the proposed Twister with almost 20,000 views.   
  • Interest in our FOSV website exploded with over 13,000 views.  
  • We emailed out over 25 separate articles or request for action and had over a 50% open and read rate (well above the industry average of 25%).

FOSV has clearly become the “go to” organization for “alternative” information about our Valley.

Timberline Twister

In September, we created a survey to gauge the community’s view on the proposed Timberline Twister.  To date we have received over 1000 surveys.  The results are clear…

  • More than 3 out of 4 are opposed to the Twister
  • Biggest concerns are Not Compatible with Squaw’s character (79%), Impact to Environment (72%), Elimination of Tree Skiing (68%), Add to Traffic and Parking Problems (60%), Generate Too Much Noise (56%)

We have submitted the results of the survey to the Placer County Planning Division and our objective is to have a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report (EIR) completed as part of the Twister permitting process.  Our expectation is that the EIR will determine there are negative noise, traffic and environmental findings that will prevent the roller coaster from being built in its planned location.

Board of Supervisors

At last year’s Board of Supervisors meeting where the SVSH Village Development Plan was approved, the FOSV presented a viable alternative to the proposed plan (“The Gang of Five Plan”).  The plan has a smaller footprint and fewer bedrooms, but achieves at least the same return on investment as the proposed project.  Moreover, it achieves the often-stated requirement of .33 bedrooms per skiable acre when considered with the other new developments at both the Resort at Squaw Creek and PlumpJack.

Alleged Brown Act Violation

As most of you are likely aware, Sierra Watch has sued the County and SVSH with a violation of the Brown Act for announcing the agreement with the California Attorney General’s office without prior disclosure. This question will come before a judge in March.  If the suit is upheld, the Supervisors will be required to revisit the project approval process, and we intend then to re-introduce the FOSV smaller alternative for review, with data and rebuttals to the objections stated by Squaw’s attorney at the end of the previous BOS meeting where we were offered no opportunity to comment.

Transit Initiatives

On a more positive note, FOSV has been active in local transit initiatives.  Along with other community leaders, we have been working to create a viable local transit plan and pressing the County and State to create a Truckee to Squaw third lane (bus only) on Hwy. 89.  Our goal is simple – improve transit around Squaw while reducing carbon output and noxious runoff to Lake Tahoe.

Park Survey

In the fall, we helped the Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Committee conduct a Park Survey, and to date we have received almost 700 surveys.   The survey will conclude in early January and we expect the results will help guide the County on planned improvements to the park at the entrance of the Valley.

Recreation Funding

Moreover, we are encouraging the PSD to expand its charter to support the Valley’s recreational needs. The FOSV is interested in applying for TOT and Placer County Park funds, but to date has been hampered by the lack of an organization that has the required resources and skills to manage complex recreational projects.  We are hopeful that over the course of the next few quarters the PSD might fill this need because there are funds that are obtainable for our community and FOSV would like to pursue them.

As you can see, we have been active organization and appreciate your continued support. Please contribute.  Help keep us going.   Again here is the link to our Go Fund Me page: