Incorporate Olympic Valley has abandoned its effort to create California's newest town, and the most formidable challenge to Squaw Valley's base village expansion plans has had its bargaining power significantly diminished. After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the effort, it was dollars and cents that doomed Incorporate Olympic Valley, as the group was unable to convince the right people that the new town would be financially viable. The group announced last week that it is officially dropping its incorporation petition, and Squaw Valley CEO Andy Wirth, who opposed the incorporation effort, was quick to step in and say that he looks forward to working together with the community on the future of Squaw Valley.
What was at stake in the incorporation battle was whether or not a close group of locals, who by and large aren't keen on the base village expansion, would be able to form a new government and use it to steer development in their favor. But first, they had to prove that their would-be town could generate enough revenue to be self-sufficient in addition to compensating the county for any revenue it might lose out on.
A draft financial analysis commissioned by the Placer Local Agency Formation Commission Office (LAFCO) was damming for the town's prospects, but Incorporate Olympic Valley criticized the report as full of errors. County commissioners voted to send the analysis to the state for a second opinion, and the California State Controller's Office agreed that there were some errors in the report but didn't offer a comprehensive opinion on viability.
Incorporate Olympic Valley declared victory on account of the errors cited by the state, while it's opposition, the Squaw Valley-bankrolled group Save Olympic Valley, also claimed victory because of the parts of the analysis the state upheld. Ultimately, despite any errors in the original analysis, the LAFCO still thought Olympic Valley would struggle as a young town and talked about denying the petition.
"Since LAFCO staff remains unyielding in its view, (Incorporate Olympic Valley) has decided not to expend more effort into a process that shows no pathway toward success, and has decided to withdraw its Petition for Incorporation," a statement from the group read.
Now that there won't be an independent Olympic Valley anytime soon, Squaw Valley — and its parent, KSL Capital Partners — will only have to win approval from Placer County for its base village plans. Expect a vote on that sometime next year.
· With incorporation shelved, what's next for Olympic Valley residents? [Sierra Sun]
· All Olympic Valley coverage [Curbed Ski]
· There's (Still) Little Love for the Squaw Valley Base Village Plan [Curbed Ski]
· The Results Are In On Olympic Valley and Incorporation [Curbed Ski]
· Squaw-Alpine Gondola Opens Dispute of What is Technically Wilderness [Curbed Ski]