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Checking In With KSL's Base Village Plans For Squaw Valley

Earlier this month, KSL claimed it was making unspecified modifications to its proposed 101-acre base village development at Squaw Valley, using the input from 200 or so meetings with local officials, landowners, and groups like the Friends of Squaw Valley, which seeking to pressure the resort into toning down their plan for over 1,000 lodging units, 47,000 square feet of commercial space, a water park, and the 12-15 years of construction that would come with all that. Squaw hasn't said when it will release its new plan, although it's got to come out before the goliath Environmental Impact Report is released this fall, which is a marquee event in the run-up to approvals for the plan.

Since then, Judy Carini, a member of the Squaw Valley Design Review Committee, wrote an op-ed in Moonshine Ink accusing Placer County of undermining the responsibilities of the Committee and transferring much of the authority granted them under Squaw Valley's 1983 General Plan to the county's own Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council in an implied attempt to influence the outcome of KSL's proposal. Sources tell us the Advisory Council, which was set up in March, is made up largely of Squaw Valley landowners and homeowners associations worried about lines of sight and devaluation of their own properties, along with some opposition members of the Friends of Squaw Valley. Their recommendations were implicated in KSL's re-thinking of their plan for the base village, but Carini still maintains her committee should be exercising more authority over that process than simply providing "feedback on colors, textures, and landscaping" - what she claims the Design Review Committee has been relegated to by the county.

This summer is more or less the calm before the storm, with things likely to get a bit spicier and nastier once Squaw releases a new plan and the EIR is released in the fall. Until then, get a good seat to take in the action; it's going to get real interesting in North Lake Tahoe soon enough.

· Squaw Valley working on updated expansion proposal [Tahoe Daily Tribune]
· Op-Ed: Placer County Undermines Design Review Committee process in Squaw Valley [Moonshine Ink]