Letter: TRPA needs to stop Squaw’s development

To the community,

At this week’s meeting of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Sierra Watch delivered a clear message to Tahoe decision-makers: Proposed development in Squaw Valley threatens their mission to protect Lake Tahoe.

I told the Governing Board, “That the proposed Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan would remake the region with development of a size, scale, and scope Squaw Valley − and North Lake Tahoe − has never seen. We encourage TRPA to participate in Placer County’s public planning process.”

KSL Capital Partners is seeking development entitlements from Placer County for the proposed Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan, which would include a series of 10-story tall high rises; an indoor water park with water slides, fake rivers, and indoor sky diving; and 300,000 square feet of commercial development.

New buildings would include more than 1,500 bedrooms.  Proponents project that it would take 25 years to complete.

“If all the development were approved,” I told TRPA, “it would make your job to protect Lake Tahoe even more difficult.”

Of particular concern is traffic.  Traffic in Tahoe is already a problem, with the key intersection in Tahoe City often stuck at what planners call “Level of Service F” − otherwise known as gridlock.

Proposed development in Squaw Valley would add more than 8,000 new daily car trips to the region’s roadways on any summer weekend, many of which would head to Tahoe.

Increased traffic makes for increased air pollution; air pollution is a direct cause of reductions in the lake’s famous clarity − TRPA’s primary responsibility.

I was joined by local volunteers, clad in purple Keep Squaw True T-shirts.

For more information about Sierra Watch and its campaign to Keep Squaw True, contact Chase Schweitzer at [email protected] or 530.448.1506.


Tom Mooers, executive director of Sierra Watch

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    Comments (10)
    1. SCTahoe says - Posted: September 26, 2015

      I thought Squaw was outside of the Lake Tahoe watershed and the TRPA jurisdiction?

    2. Steven says - Posted: September 26, 2015

      Tom has some good points. Squaw is out of TRPA jurisdiction, but TRPA should be able to give some advice. It seems like the TRPA should have a say in things like air and light pollution that affects the Tahoe basin. Ever seen the glow from the lights during night skiing at Squaw ?
      Another point, if tourists can’t find enough to do while in the Tahoe area, without all this artificial entertainment, they should go elsewhere or stay home and visit dizzyland. This goes for all the development around the basin including heavenly and northstar.
      The number of tourists coming to the Tahoe Basin is destroying it.

    3. a_better_slt says - Posted: September 26, 2015

      I agree that the development should not be allowed, but you’re barking up the wrong tree. Squaw is outside TRPA’s jurisdiction. Why would lake tahoe news even print this letter? Get informed people!

    4. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: September 26, 2015

      Tom Mooers,The TRPA was put in place to”control” devlopoment. But just not in the way many people think.
      Adding on to a back deck deck of your house? Denied!
      Building a huge resort with 1,500 bedrooms? No problem! Putting up a carport in your front yard? Nope.
      Building a large campgroud on a ridgeline? Well that’s just fine! Increased traffic, and usage of sewer and water facilities. All just fine!
      Keep on buiding Tahoe. Maybe we can wreck this place all over again. OLS

    5. Carl Ribaudo says - Posted: September 26, 2015

      TRPA has no jurisdiction. Why not have them rule on development in Truckee or how about Alpine County? We get an air stream from Sac maybe have a ruling there too. While we’re at it how about new development In Reno as those folks might visit Tahoe and have an impact.

    6. lou pierini says - Posted: September 26, 2015

      The article says he asked the TRPA to participate in Placer County’s public planning process not control it. He’s right, they should.

    7. sunriser2 says - Posted: September 27, 2015

      They claim the Squaw expansion would create 8,000 vehicle trips per day at the Tahoe City “Y”. Add in the new traffic from the proposed Home Wood expansion.

      The intersection already has an F rating at times. Throw in some road construction in the summer and you will have LA traffic.

    8. Irish Wahini says - Posted: September 27, 2015

      Traffic is the bane of all development! Too bad that state of the art public transportation can’t be funded & put into place for these destinations, so visitors could all park at a perimeter parking lot (and get around the lake areas via efficient, non-polluting electric rail service or similar.

      Folks going to Zermatt, Switzerland can have free long term parking & catch the train to Zermatt from the parking station.

    9. Cautious and Skeptical says - Posted: September 27, 2015

      TRPA Regional Plan | CHAPTER 2: LAND USE ELEMENT
      Adopted – December 12 , 2012

      Land Use 5.2

    10. Seriously? says - Posted: September 27, 2015

      Its funny, Tahoe isn’t allowed to have drive through fast food joints to cut down on emissions, yet at the beginning of summer, there were at least 9 construction stops around the lake. Some of the construction stops stated that there could be a 30 minute wait. Yes, we need tourism in our little mountain town to survive, but what’s the worst case scenario without tourism? We go back to the 1940’s-1950’s? This I can guarantee, if the cities keep building, they will come, & they will destroy! The clarity of the lake will diminish significantly, the air quality with suffer and more bears will die. Graffiti will increase, trash will increase, forest fires will increase. Tahoe WILL be destroyed if she continues to grow.