As if the continuing debate over a proposed gondola linking Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows wasn't enough, now there's even more for Tahoe locals to squabble about: a recently released draft environmental impact report for the Squaw Valley base village expansion project. Although the plan has gone through many scaled-down revisions, the Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan still calls for construction of up to 1,493 bedrooms in up to 850 hotel, condo, and timeshare units. The development also proposes almost 300,000 square feet of commercial space that will be the heart of a new retail and restaurant base for Squaw. And while the much-maligned 132,000-square-foot aquatic park has been downscaled to a 90,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Camp, the latest environmental impact report details just how significantly the 94-acre project would impact Squaw Valley.
The several-hundred page document is currently being circulated for a 60-day public review. The report identifies "significant or potentially significant effects associated with population, employment, and housing; biological resources; cultural resources; visual resources; traffic and circulation; air quality; noise; soils, geology, and seismicity; hydrology and water quality; public services and utilities; hazardous materials and hazards; air quality; and greenhouse gases and climate change."
It concludes: "Even with the application of feasible mitigation measures, some impacts would be significant and unavoidable."
Major concerns include the demolition of historically significant buildings, the negative effect of construction on scenic vistas, problems with transportation and traffic, construction noise impacts, and potentially significant operational greenhouse gas emissions after 2020.
The project's buildout would take about 25 years of construction.
According to Placer County, the draft EIR's 60-day public review began Monday May 18. The deadline for public comment is 5 p.m. July 17. Head over here to download an electronic copy of the report.
Comments should be mailed to Placer County Community Development Resource Agency, Environmental Coordination Services, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, Auburn, CA 95603, Attention: Maywan Krach; faxed to 530-745-3080; or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public comments will also be taken at a June 25 hearing, scheduled for 10:05 a.m. in the North Tahoe Event Center at 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach.
· The Village at Squaw Valley [Official Site]
· Environmental report out for multi-acre Lake Tahoe ski resort expansion [TDT]
· The Results Are In On The Squaw-Alpine Gondola [Curbed Ski]
· Squaw Valley CEO Comes Out Against Olympic Valley [Curbed Ski]
· Olympians Mancuso & Moseley Endorse Squaw Valley Expansion [Curbed Ski]