Squaw Valley, CA Will NOT Become a Town

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The Fingers off KT-22 at Squaw Valley in 2011. photo: miles clark/snowbrains
The Fingers off KT-22 at Squaw Valley in 2011. photo: miles clark/snowbrains

The movement to incorporate Squaw (Olympic) Valley, CA has come to and end. 

“IOV has decided not to expend more effort into a process that shows no pathway toward success, and has decided to withdraw its Petition for Incorporation.” – IOV today via press release

 

“All eight members of our Board voted unanimously to withdraw our petition.  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.” – Dr. Ilfeld, IOV chairman today

Squaw Valley ski resort openly opposed the movement and spent approximately $750,000 fighting against Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV).

Squaw Valley's spending to support "Save Olympic Valley" a non-profit created to fight the incorporation movement.
Squaw Valley’s spending to support “Save Olympic Valley” a non-profit created to fight the incorporation movement.  image:  unofficialalpine.com

IOV spent $85,000 on a fiscal analysis report in 2014.  That fiscal analysis found that Olympic Valley would not be fiscally viable.  IOV spent another $125,000 in 2015 to have that report reviewed by the state controller after flaws were discovered.  The state controller found 18 errors in the fiscal analysis and it appeared that the town of Olympic Valley would be fiscally viable.

“Application of the SCO’s (State Controllers Office) responses in a quantitative analysis by Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV) shows a dramatically changed financial picture for the town, with positive net results and growing general fund balances, exceeding $15 Million by 2025, even after yet-to-be-negotiated revenue neutrality payments to Placer County.” – IOV on Nov. 3rd, 2015

Squaw Valley trail map
Squaw Valley trail map

The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) did not accept the changes and the proposed town of Olympic Valley has been deemed not fiscally viable. 

“However even with written documentation from the State Controller’s Office (SCO), Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) staff has questioned the SCO conclusions and maintains their long-standing view that the Town is not fiscally viable. LAFCO is the referee of the incorporation process, and this Commission’s approval is needed before the incorporation issue can go before the voters on a ballot.” – IOV press release today

McConkey's (Eagle's Nest) at Squaw Valley in 2011. photo: miles clark/snowbrains
McConkey’s (Eagle’s Nest) at Squaw Valley in 2011. photo: miles clark/snowbrains

IOV’s mission:

“Incorporate Olympic Valley was formed in 2013 by Squaw Valley residents concerned about maintaining their mountain culture and gaining local authority and jurisdiction over land use decisions, locally generated tax revenues, and key services prioritized locally, such as snow removal, road maintenance and parks & recreation.” – IOV

Squaw Valley trail map
Squaw Valley trail map

IOV PRESS RELEASE:

For Immediate Release – December 1, 2015 – Olympic Valley, California

Over the past three years the Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV) movement has sought to enable self-governance and locally managed services for its residents, homeowners, visitors, and businesses.  Foremost among IOV’s objectives has been to analyze the Valley’s finances to see whether the proposed town would be fiscally viable and perhaps thriving over the long term.  Ultimately IOV wanted a vote by local residents to decide whether to become California’s newest town.

Olympic Valley’s financial viability was confirmed recently by the California State Controller’s Office (SCO) in its report reviewing the Draft Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (dCFA).   Evaluating 31 separate issues, the SCO agreed with IOV’s position in 18 of these concerns either in whole or in part.  Using the decisions from the SCO review, IOV’s municipal consultant analyzed the town’s feasibility with the result being $15 million of revenues net of expenses over the proposed town’s first 10 years (after funding revenue neutrality payments to Placer County).  (See chart below.)

However even with written documentation from the State Controller’s Office (SCO), Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) staff has questioned the SCO conclusions and maintains their long-standing view that the Town is not fiscally viable.  LAFCO is the referee of the incorporation process, and this Commission’s approval is needed before the incorporation issue can go before the voters on a ballot.  However, LAFCO’s stance has been resolutely negative on financial viability, despite IOV’s pointing out that successive versions of the dCFA were marred by incorrect assumptions, mathematical miscalculations, and internal inconsistencies, and despite the State Controller’s conclusions.  Since LAFCO staff remains unyielding in its view, IOV has decided not to expend more effort into a process that shows no pathway toward success, and has decided to withdraw its Petition for Incorporation.

Looking to the future, IOV board members remain dedicated to building a cohesive community in Olympic Valley and will be supporting local efforts on this mission.  Although the petition withdrawal marks the end of the current chapter of the incorporation effort, it introduces the possibility of the next chapter of community building and regional self-governance.  Hopes and expectations remain high that a broader community effort will compel Placer County to address the needs of North Tahoe region and respond to the call for more local input and autonomy. In this regard, IOV Board members are open to sharing their recent experience with their neighbors and to exploring such a possibility for regional self-determination.

Dr. Fred Ilfeld, Board Chair of IOV, elaborated:  “All eight members of our Board voted unanimously to withdraw our petition.  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.  We owe it to our community to give them the facts about this journey.  Our supporters in Squaw Valley deserve to know what really happened.”

Ilfeld continued:  “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.”

About Incorporate Olympic Valley (IOV):

Incorporate Olympic Valley was formed in early 2013 by Squaw Valley residents concerned about maintaining their mountain culture and gaining local authority and jurisdiction over land use decisions, locally generated tax revenues, and key services prioritized locally, such as snow removal, road maintenance and parks & recreation.

 


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One thought on “Squaw Valley, CA Will NOT Become a Town

  1. KSL needs to go away! You and your greedy land developers need to go back to colorado or wherever ya came from and ruin that place…. leave Tahoe alone! GREEDY CAPITALISTS WILL GET WHAT THEY DESERVE.

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