Since initiation of the project entitlement process in 2011, Squaw Valley staff has participated in over 200 public presentations and meetings, and provided project presentations to over 3,000 visitors at Base Camp, the information center for the new Village project. This effort has been a priority, as it encourages input/feedback on the proposed project from the public, in an attempt to help ensure that the Village project is acceptable. Squaw is currently working with Placer County, the lead permitting agency for the project, to complete the environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). To date, Placer County has published a project Notice of Participation (NOP) and an initial Draft Specific Plan (provided by Squaw Valley). The effort to complete a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) is ongoing.
The next step in the process is to publish an updated Draft Specific Plan, along with the Draft EIR, in the winter of 2013/14. It is hoped that a Final Specific Plan and Final EIR are subsequently approved by the Placer County Planning Commission and the Placer County Board of Supervisors. Currently, several project infrastructure studies are under way, and project plans and designs are still being developed/refined. Public input will continue to play a role in this process. Additional project details will be presented periodically as the entitlement process moves forward.
The effort to complete a Draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) is ongoing. Project updates will be provided at each monthly Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council (SVMAC) meeting over the next several months as an Information Item, and then as an Action Item prior to proceeding to the Placer County Planning Commission (which will subsequently provide a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors) on the Draft Specific Plan, Draft EIR, and project entitlements. It is anticipated that a revised Draft Specific Plan and Draft EIR will be submitted to Placer County in winter 2013/14 for review.
The public will have multiple opportunities to comment on the Village project at various stages in the process. The public will be able to comment on the project at Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council and Placer County Planning Commission meetings scheduled specifically for such review, as well as submit written comments directly to the county during the specified time periods. In addition, any comment or question may be submitted directly to Squaw Valley via the Contact Us tab from the homepage of this site. Any comments or questions for the county may be submitted through Environmental Coordination by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 530-745-3132.
Nearly all of the area where change is proposed is an “infill” or ”redevelopment” site, that has already been developed or disturbed. Developing on previously disturbed land is an important advantage in developing the project, as Squaw Valley’s pristine landscape will be minimally effected.
It is proposed that the majority of existing surface parking lots be replaced with lodging facilities and related village services and amenities, with enclosed podium parking structures underneath. The podium parking structures will be constructed partially sub-grade (below ground level), in order to minimize overall building heights, and to allow for construction of sub-grade walking and driving corridors within the village. In Phase 3, the podium parking structures will be “wrapped” by lodging facilities, in order to minimize the visual impact of the parking structures, as well as to provide convenient parking for lodging guests. The majority of the Phase 3 podium parking spaces will be dedicated to day visitor parking.
Several changes need to occur to broaden the experience at Squaw for visitors and locals, to ensure the future sustainability of Squaw Valley, and to position Squaw as a world-class mountain and village resort that can exist in perpetuity. For one, Squaw wants to become a place that draws visitors for many reasons, not just for the winter recreational pursuits of skiing, riding and ice skating. Achieving a better balance between day skiers and destination visitors is another goal. This can be achieved by creating a more vibrant village which functions as a year-round destination offering a wide range of activities to enjoy. Having more entertainment and activities throughout the day—and not stopping at 4:00 pm when the lifts stop turning—is a guest expectation. Also, more lodging, both in quantity and variety, will allow us to attract destination visitors. The changes proposed focus on important improvements to circulation, with much greater emphasis on walkability, transit solutions and minimizing vehicle trips.
For one, there are voids in the overall experience here, therefore we believe that the proposed changes are overdue. Secondly, Squaw is undertaking planning and seeking to gain county approvals now so that we can achieve financial sustainability for the resort.
The Placer County Board of Supervisors will ultimately decide whether to approve the project. In addition, many regulatory and service agencies are involved whenever land use changes are proposed. Agencies that will play a role include Squaw Valley Public Services District and the Lahontan Regional Quality Water Resources Control Board, among others. The overall goal of the county and various local and state agencies is to ensure that any future development conforms to applicable planning documents and regulations, that any infrastructure and service improvements needed to serve new lodging or activities are completed, and that public safety and the environment are addressed and protected.
Yes. Growth within Squaw Valley is directed by Placer County’s Squaw Valley General Plan and Land Use Ordinance. This plan envisions Squaw Valley will be developed into “a top quality, year-round, destination resort” and that the area has “the capacity to serve and house the optimum number of tourists, visitors and residents… without adversely impacting the unique aesthetic and environmental assets of Squaw Valley.” Current zoning on the 100+ acres allows for up to approximately 1,664 units. Squaw Valley is currently proposing to build roughly 1,093 units.
The predominant entitlement approval that Squaw Valley is seeking for the village-wide project is through a master plan document, called a Specific Plan. This document will include overall project development standards and design guidelines. Approvals are also being sought for minor rezoning changes and for minor changes in a few General Plan land use designations in order to create a more cohesive project site. If the Specific Plan is approved, Squaw will return to the County for approval of Phase 1. If Phase 1 is approved, Squaw must return to the County seeking approval for each subsequent phase, through Phase 4.
It makes sense to concentrate development in areas that are already disturbed, such as existing parking lots, while at the same time maintaining ample and continuous undeveloped, natural areas. The proposed rezones will provide for this kind of logical development pattern. A review of the current zoning revealed pockets of land that if developed, would break up continuous, natural areas, and vice versa. Also, portions along Squaw Creek are currently zoned Village Commercial and therefore subject to development. The rezoning adjustments would change this area to Conservation Preservation.
Preliminary information and analysis by water experts show the Valley has ample water resources to serve the proposed development that would occur over time. Information obtained thus far shows the focus will need to be on optimizing management of the water resources that already exist, as opposed to transporting more water into the valley.
Many studies have been conducted on the status of the creek and citizen and agency efforts have been organized to improve the way the creek functions. Squaw Valley is a participant in these efforts, and we will continue to do our part.
Degradation of the creek has occurred over more than 150 years. The most significant damage resulted from extensive cattle and sheep grazing in the late 19th century, along with construction of the resort facilities prior to the 1960 Olympics. These facts are cited in Placer County’s final report on the Lower Squaw Creek Conceptual Restoration Plan.
Squaw Valley absolutely supports local efforts to restore the creek. Our proposed plan provides for generous building set-backs from the creek which will accommodate a scenic creek corridor allowing restoration efforts to continue. Goals of the restoration plan are to improve fish habitat, water quality, bank stability, flood management and wetlands.
The Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan will establish the guiding approach and land use goals for the comprehensive development and enhancement of approximately 101 acres of the previously developed village located at the western end of Squaw Valley. This document will also contain various elements (phasing, overall unit and room counts, parking space counts and location, etc.) of the proposed project. One of the main goals of the Plan is to comprehensively address current standards for environmental quality, sustainability and appropriate development approaches to create a world-class, 21st century, recreation-based, all-season mountain resort community. A link to a copy of the current Draft Specific Plan is available for viewing on this website in the Document Library section. A revised Draft Specific Plan will be available soon.
No. The parent company KSL has no plans to sell this newly acquired asset by a certain time, and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC (SVSH), the owner and operator of all ski and resort operations for Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts, expects to own and manage all its operations for the long-term. KSL is planning to build over the long term.
Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC (SVSH) owns and operates all ski and resort operations for Squaw Valley Ski Resort and Alpine Meadows. Andy Wirth is the President and CEO of SVSH. A separate company, Squaw Valley Real Estate, LLC (SVRE), was created under SVSH for future expansion of The Village. Creation of additional LLC’s under a parent company is a common practice for development projects for administration and liability purposes. Chevis Hosea is Vice President of Development of SVSH, and the Director of SVRE.
KSL Capital Partners, LLC (KSL) purchased Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows ski resorts in 2010 and established SVSH. KSL is a U.S. private equity firm dedicated to investments in travel and leisure businesses. Their investments range across travel and leisure businesses, such as hotels and resorts, clubs, fitness, ski and resort real estate. All development decisions for SVSH are the responsibility of Andy Wirth and Chevis Hosea.
The Village project will upgrade and improve all member services and facilities, including members’ lockers, race and freestyle teams and Squaw Kids. New features will include a members’ area that boasts state of the art locker rooms with wet areas, whirlpools, a fitness center and members-only dining. Squaw Valley’s parent company, KSL Capital Partners, is a premier club operator of the largest golf and fitness clubs on the West Coast. The plan is to bring this same exemplary level of club membership to Squaw Valley, which does not currently exist today.
Squaw Valley has conducted over 200 presentations on the project and received input from thousands of local and regional residents, government officials, non profits, associations and business owners. A list of some of these meetings is attached here. In addition, the Base Camp Lodge is receiving nearly 30 individuals a day interested in learning more about the Village project.