Jun 302015
 

The Sierra Sun had a story today about an evil development proposed in the Lake Tahoe Area. A ski developer wants to build a bunch of stuff so their business is not one-dimensional and dependent upon Sierra Snow and winter business.

Let’s dive in to the story with the first quote:

The Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan outlines construction of up to 850 lodging units, with a maximum of 1,493 bedrooms; nearly 300,000 square feet of tourist-serving commercial space, while decommissioning about 92,000 square feet of existing commercial space; and a 90,000-square-foot Mountain Adventure Camp for indoor and outdoor recreation.

Boy – that sure sounds big and would make anyone living permanently in North Lake Tahoe nervous… but, then later in the article:

This latest proposal is a scaled-down plan from previous versions, including fewer bedrooms and lodging units, shorter building heights, a smaller Mountain Adventure Camp, and less overall project acreage.

“The most sensitive thing that we’ve done in terms of the environment for this project is reduce it by 50 percent over the last three years,” [Chevis] Hosea said. (he is the developer’s representative)

Ok – so the NIMBY’s have succeeded in getting the project shrunk. But, it still is not good enough. Sierra Watch has their lawyer trolling planning meetings, according to the article and look who else was in the article:

“The only mistake that can be made is to allow too many bedrooms or too much development, because that can never be fixed,” said Olympic Valley resident Bob Barnett, who is a member of the Friends of Squaw Valley. “If you go smaller, that can always be remedied later on. Once it’s too big, the environmental impacts never stop.”

Okay, so Sierra Watch and the Friends of Squaw Valley are working together to scale back or even stop the development project.

Oops. Maybe Bob Barnett, one of the “Friends of” forgot to mention that he also represents the Incorporate Olympic Valley effort, which desperately needs development to generate revenue for a new town. Stopping, delaying or downsizing the development project is disastrous for incorporation.   

Someone needs to give Bob Barnett some help, so allow me:

1. Don’t step on your own messaging. You’ve just exposed yourself as anti-growth as you are quoted attacking a development inside Olympic Valley. This tells the world what your likely motives are for attempting to incorporate a “town” of 500 registered voters

2. Olympic Valley is not financially viable. Even the most glowing estimates state that it will need to siphon millions in room taxes from neighboring jurisdictions to be viable.

3. However, you oppose construction of the very things that would generate the tax revenue necessary to support Olympic Valley! What’s next, a tax increase?

Whoops.

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