Aug 052016

Remember the LAFCO saga with liberal millionaire Fred Ilfeld and his attempt to incorporate a small unviable town in Olympic Valley? In a turn of events that is a poster child for why development in California is prohibitively expensive, if a developer wins the bureaucratic fight, they still have to deal with the enviros and the courts.

I received the following email that shows phase 2 in the NIMBY army action. (Phase 3 is the standard SUE THEM phase… and Sierra Watch has made it clear that they will sue over this project.)

That’s right – this project has passed environmental scrutiny (resulting in it being shrunk from the original plan) and has been vetted at all levels, but still the enviros want to stop it.

You can fight back – we are mobilizing a counter group to show the Planning commission it is not just the far-left NIMBY’s that care about this issue. See below.

Sierra Nevada Alliance Alert

MAC May 14 2

Help Keep Squaw True Free of People, August 11th at
the Placer County Planning Commission

The Sierra Nevada Alliance invites you to read an action alert from our member organization, Sierra Watch:

Stand for the place we all love.

What:        Placer County Planning Commission meeting to decide the future of Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe!

When:       Thursday, August 11, 2016
10:00 a.m.

Where:      North Tahoe Event Center
Kings Beach (free parking, get there early!)

RSVP:       Email or call Chase Schweitzer to reserve a Keep Squaw True t-shirt,

On Thursday, Aug. 11, the Placer County Planning Commission will hold their public hearing and recommend that the County approve or deny KSL Capital Partners’ proposed development for Squaw Valley.

Local and regional opposition to the proposal is overwhelming.

The Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council already voted against it, joining more than 3,000 thousand individualKeep Squaw True petition signers, dozens of local businesses, and local and national environmental organizations including Sierra Nevada Alliance.  Multiple government entities including the Town of Truckee, California Highway Patrol, Tahoe Regional Planning Authority, Lahontan Regional Water Resources Control Board, and more have expressed deep concerns.

During the meeting on August 11th, the Planning Commission will vote on whether the County should put KSL’s bottom line over the community’s quality of life in North Lake Tahoe and Truckee.

The hearing is our opportunity to let the Commission know how we feel about KSL’s proposed development that is of a size, scale and scope never before seen in the Lake Tahoe Region. It will include highrises, about 1,500 bedrooms, the development of Shirley Canyon, traffic, and a big box indoor water park.

It’s time to stand together once again, and tell the County that adding more gridlocked traffic to already dangerous fire evacuation paths, straining local water supplies, and threatening the clarity of Lake Tahoe – even undermining regional plans to combat climate change – is a non-starter!

Together we can Keep Squaw True.

What:         Placer County Planning Commission meeting on the future of Squaw Valley and North Lake Tahoe!

When:        Thursday, August 11, 2016
10:00 a.m.

Where:       North Tahoe Event Center
Kings Beach (free parking, get there early!)

RSVP:        Email or call Chase Schweitzer to reserve a t-shirt,
Again, now’s the time.  RSVP to Chase Schweitzer, Sierra Watch Field Representative, to let him know that you can attend – as well as what size Keep Squaw True t-shirt he can hand you as we all walk into the meeting to stand up for Squaw, the North Lake Tahoe/Truckee Region, and the Lake itself!

Also, please forward this email to your friends and family that care about Squaw and the Tahoe-Sierra as much as you do.

Have a great week, and see you there!

Got it? If they can’t intimidate the planning commission – they are going to sue. What can you do? I hear a group is organizing to attend the meeting themselves to provide balance to the NIMBY’s. IF you are interested in standing up for free enterprise and Skiing – leave a comment here with your contact info as comments do not display automatically.

LAFCO Update: Fred Ilfeld’s Classless Letter Withdrawing IOV Application

 LAFCO  Comments Off on LAFCO Update: Fred Ilfeld’s Classless Letter Withdrawing IOV Application
Dec 012015

Fred Ilfeld has cleared the way for the enviros to sue to stop the development of the Ski Resort.

In true narcissist rich-guy fashion, despite getting pounded repeatedly – he stubbornly asserts that the proposed town of 600 would be fiscally viable and doubles-down on his accusations of wrongdoing by county staff. Translation – he had a temper tantrum:

“This is not a ‘he said, she said’ situation. In accordance with California law we appealed to the State Controller to resolve differences between LAFCO views and ours. The State Controller’s Office supported our position in the majority of the items under review,with the result of the proposed Town penciling out as financially viable.” Was a direct quote from Fred Ilfeld in their three page release. This statement in my opinion is a lie, and Mr. Ilfeld knows it.
For the first time – Ilfeld also gets semi-honest about the motives for this hare-brained scheme (courtesy of another quote I lifted from his release):
Given the impasse with LAFCO combined with opposition by Placer County, plus stiff and heavily funded opposition from Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, we saw no way to continue moving forward.
Translation – that damn ski-resort and all those corrupt people wouldn’t do what I, Fred Ilfeld wanted them to. Leave us not forget, his public accusations of wrongdoing against the LAFCO board at the last meeting that sent Dr. Bill Kirby in to a tirade (after Kirby voted in favor of a motion favorable to Ilfeld)
Attached here is Ilfeld’s letter to the county of Placer. It is as classless as anything I see in my work in politics.
Here is the bottom line – Ilfeld knew he was going to lose. He also knows that the (fill in the name of Greenmail lawfirm here) is going to sue on behalf of (fill in the name of Enviro-NIMBY group here) so that the issue he really cares about is far from resolved.
Ever want to know why a ski lift ticket is so expensive and why business is deign to come to California? People like Fred Ilfeld and the Enviro-Nimby groups that hate development.
Oh, don’t worry – Ilfeld has a ton of money and I am sure we have not heard the last of him.

LAFCO Update – Near Fatal Blow Dealt to Incorporate Olympic Valley

 LAFCO, NIMBY'S  Comments Off on LAFCO Update – Near Fatal Blow Dealt to Incorporate Olympic Valley
Nov 202015

Ok – here is the summary: the NIMBY’s think the State Controller’s Office validated their proposal even though at least 25 of their 30+ questions were hammered. The NIMBY’s went to the LAFCO meeting to try to see if they could continue on in the process.

The LAFCO board basically said the proposal did not look good. Then Fred Ilfeld accused the LAFCO Board of Corruption (as in colluding against HIM). After that, the usually mild-mannered bill Kirby got animated.

Now at the next LAFCO meeting, it is likely that the future of the project will be sealed – leaving the NIMBY’s to defer to the ENVIROS to stop the development.

Meantime – skiers are getting screwed over. I highlighted a couple spots of the release that speak to the motives of Ilfeld and his ill-fated effort.


The effort by Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV) was dealt a severe blow at this week’s meeting of the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO). As the process has transpired, multiple financial experts, including the California State Controller’s Office (SCO), have established and continue to unambiguously state and evidence what has been largely and well known for quite some time — the proposed town of Olympic Valley is not financially feasible. In fact, the annual operating losses of this proposed town exceed $1.5 million in the most liberal interpretation of this effort, hence the continued efforts and focus by Save Olympic Valley so to ensure that this risky proposal doesn’t advance any further.

At Wednesday’s meeting, LAFCO Commissioners rejected a staff request for further fiscal analysis and instead, moved to put the issue of terminating the incorporation application on their meeting agenda as soon as the law allows. Prior to taking action, the LAFCO Commissioners heard testimony from their own staff, as well as from Save Olympic Valley’s (SOV) fiscal consultant, Matthew Newman, about the implications of the recent State Controller’s review of the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA) of the proposed town. According to both LAFCO staff and Mr. Newman, the town is not feasible, and nothing in the Controller’s report changes that conclusion.

“IOV’s statements that the town is viable rely on some remarkably unrealistic assumptions,” Newman stated. “IOV proposes to enjoy all the fruits of development in the form of increased revenues, but doesn’t budget for any of the increased costs which new development would bring, such as higher expenditures for law enforcement or the planning department.”

Newman added, “IOV also proposes to take over the regional services currently provided by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA), and with in doing so would be taking from the entire North Lake Tahoe community, millions of dollars of additional property taxes that are currently used to fund community-wide and county-wide services.”

Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, LLC, one of the many members of Save Olympic Valley also reacted to the LAFCO actions, stating “This meeting validated most of what we have known and have been saying for quite some time, and that is that incorporation is not feasible and is a patently dangerous notion not just for the community of Olympic Valley, but also for the entire community of North Lake Tahoe and Placer County. With the great many variables and challenges our community has, introducing yet another civic entity — and in this case, a fiscally unstable civic entity — doesn’t make any sense, whatsoever.”

Wirth said LAFCO commissioners clearly recognized that this process could go on ad infinitum and spoke candidly about how and when to terminate the incorporation application. “Everyone but the small group of individuals associated with IOV now very clearly understand that incorporation has never been, and will never be financially viable,” Wirth said.

“Ironically, IOV set out to slow or stop the enhancement of Squaw Valley by way of the company’s real estate redevelopment project, the very project that would produce the revenues needed for their proposed new town.” Wirth said.

Commissioners engaged in a robust three-hour debate that included a summary of findings from the State Controller’s Office and a discussion on whether to move forward with a quest for fresh data to update the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis.

In the meeting’s most dramatic moment, IOV alleged that LAFCO staff and its consultants were biased against incorporation, a notion that was vehemently disputed by Commissioner Dr. Bill Kirby.

“LAFCO staff and their consultants are not biased. They have been fair and unbiased. I am insulted by these allegations,” Dr. Kirby stated.

One hope for the proposed town might have been if Placer County was willing to provide financial aid through a process known as “revenue neutrality” negotiations. Unfortunately for IOV, however, the hope of subsidies was dashed by a top county official.

Jennifer Merchant, Placer County’s Deputy CEO for Tahoe, said after having reviewed the State Controller’s Office report and multiple fiscal studies which concluded the town was not feasible, “The County would certainly negotiate revenue neutrality in good faith, but negotiations are not meant to enrich the applicant’s incorporation proposal. In fact, revenue neutrality negotiations might be more detrimental to IOV’s hope for incorporation than the estimated numbers prepared by RSG Consulting in the draft CFA. It’s not the county’s job to find ways to make incorporation viable.”

Keith Fountain, who is neither a member of, nor affiliated directly with SOV, spoke on behalf of the 218 homeowners at the Squaw Valley Lodge who have sought exemption from the incorporation boundaries as put forth by IOV.

“We have studied the CFA ourselves and interpret its conclusions very differently from IOV,” Fountain told the commission. “Contradiction is evident in IOV’s request that restricted TOT funds intended for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA) now be transferred to the town and considered in the calculation of property tax. All this, despite their on-going claim that they would continue funding NLTRA as Placer County does now. Their argument is simply a financial manipulation intended to inflate the town’s future revenues.”

LAFCO’s next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 4:00 p.m. in Auburn.

Save Olympic Valley (SOV) is a large group of local residents, homeowners, property owners and business leaders who have sought exclusion from the proposed town due primarily to the substantial financial risk associated with the proposed town. Businesses, properties and individuals seeking exclusion include: Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, Plumpjack/Newsom Properties, The Resort at Squaw Creek, Poulsen Family Properties, Dean and Sandra Hall Properties, Richie Goldman Properties, Dan Morgan Property, Heidi and Terry Deveau, and Ciro Mancuso Properties.

LAFCO Update – Ilfeld Spends $125k to Lose Again

 LAFCO  Comments Off on LAFCO Update – Ilfeld Spends $125k to Lose Again
Nov 012015

Fred Ilfeld is the man attempting to Incorporate Olympic Valley at the expense of the Placer County Taxpayers. The Controller’s Office and the independent auditor agree – it does not pencil out.

Ilfeld is in to this effort $300k+ that we know of. I do believe that Ilfeld will not stop wasting his money and the time of the Placer County Government – that he has to reimburse the taxpayers for.

The State Controller’s office was dragged in because of a provision in the law where a rich NIMBY like Mr. Ilfeld can spend some pocket change (in this case, $125K) to have the State Controller’s Office review the reviews of the “CFA” – the Comprehensive Financial Analysis. They did – and they decimated Ilfeld.

Take a look at the following: