The comment period for the draft Environmental Impact Report (dEIR) on the proposed Village at Squaw Valley is over, and the community has spoken. 340 out of 345 responses were negative on one or more of the project’s environmental impacts.
The Friends of Squaw Valley (FoSV) thanks everyone who took the time to comment. Whether your letter was one or several pages, each demonstrates to the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors that the community is intensely interested in the project.
It is important to remember that the draft Environmental Impact Report (dEIR) is at the very heart of CEQA, and it is designed to inform decision makers and the public about the potential, significant environmental impacts of a project. CEQA requires public agencies to identify ways that environmental damage can be avoided or significantly reduced, and failure to do so or improper preparation of the dEIR requires that the project be altered and/or the dEIR be reissued.
The two most common themes in the comment letters were the variety of impacts on both traffic and water, though the range of topics was very broad.
In light of all the impacts and lack of viable mitigations, most responders felt that the best course of action was to downsize the project. The dEIR Alternative chapter suggested a 50% reduction be analyzed, but considering the traffic and water impacts alone, the FoSV is not suggesting any specific percentage, but rather a downsizing that brings these impacts into a “less than significant” range.
The MAC will be discussing and voting on the Project (including Final EIR and Specific Plan) sometime in the next few months. We will keep everyone informed.
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.