Squaw Revises Expansion Proposal, But Critics Say It's Still Too Much Development

Sep 16, 2015

Squaw Valley wants to expand its village to incorporate several hundred thousand square feet of additional buildings, including high-rise hotel and residential units, and an indoor amusement park.
Credit Squaw Valley Resort

Squaw Valley developers have revised a controversial expansion plan to address community concerns, but opponents say the changes don’t go far enough. 

Squaw’s planned expansion of the Village at Squaw Valley has received more than 300 public comments, most of them negative. Critics cite the development’s impact on traffic, natural resources, and scenic views as top concerns.

Last week the Squaw Valley Design Review Committee, comprised of area residents and business owners, unanimously approved a revised plan that spokesperson Liesel Kenny says reduces the development by half. It also lowers the height of proposed high-rises by 30 feet or more.

“Having this unanimous vote in favor of the revised design is a huge step in the right direction in terms of getting agreement on how we want this plan to look, and making sure that the community is really behind the plan,” she says.

But Tom Mooers, of Sierra Watch, one of the most vocal opponents to the project, says the plan is still “so far off the mark that what we’ve asked them to do is pull that project and then come to the table and work with local community and others to come up with a plan that makes sense. Their proposal as it stands now is rooted in a fundamentally misguided approach to the future of Tahoe.”

The updated design will be presented to various stakeholders starting next month, with a final environmental impact report due by December. Squaw will present a final plan to Placer County for approval early next year.