Village at Palisades Tahoe Specific Plan partially revised draft environmental impact report released

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. – Placer County has released for public review a partially revised draft environmental impact report for the Village at Palisades Tahoe Specific Plan, formerly known as the Village at Squaw Valley.

The Village at Palisades Tahoe Specific Plan proposes an 85-acre resort village located in northeastern Placer County to redevelop the existing ski resort base area at the west end of Olympic Valley. An 8.8-acre parcel known as the east parcel is located 1.3 miles east of the resort near the entrance to Olympic Valley. In 2016, the Board of Supervisors approved development for 850 resort residential units including a mixture of condo hotel, timeshare and townhome units on 93 acres of land within the existing Palisades Ski Resort base area, plus 293,000 square feet of new and replacement commercial space for restaurants, retail, private recreation uses and skier services. The east parcel would be developed with employee housing, a community market, shipping and receiving and employee intercept parking. 

A lawsuit was subsequently filed challenging the adequacy of the project’s environmental impact report (EIR). California’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled in August 2021 that the EIR did not adequately address wildfire evacuation times, construction noise impacts, public transit, and regional impacts to the Lake Tahoe Basin as they related to water quality.

The partially revised draft EIR addresses the court’s concern and is now available for public review during normal business hours at the Tahoe City and Truckee libraries, the Olympic Valley Public Service District, the Placer County Community Development Resource Agency offices in Auburn and Tahoe, and the County Clerk’s Office. It is also available online here.

The Placer County Planning Commission will hear public comments on the revised draft EIR at a public meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, at the North Tahoe Event Center, located at 8318 North Lake Blvd. in Kings Beach. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and will be streamed virtually via Zoom.

The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will be asked to reconsider the project and the revised draft EIR for approval after the public review process is completed. 

The proposed plan and project, which Palisades owner and developer Alterra Mountain Company has kept consistent with the prior approval, includes public trail improvements such as flushable restrooms and parking at the trailheads to Granite Chief and Shirley Canyon trails, new sewer connection and flush restrooms at Olympic Valley Park, and restoration of Squaw Creek to correct legacy impacts from prior channelization in 1960. Construction of a new fire station within the proposed village at the west end of the valley, employee housing for 300 workers and public transit improvements are also written into the resort development. Additionally, the proposal includes an indoor recreation center to provide year-round recreation opportunities for both visitors and locals.