After three years, supporters of the movement to incorporate the community of Olympic Valley, California, have withdrawn their petition for incorporation following continued opposition. The decision was announced in a letter to the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission on December 1. The group, Incorporate Olympic Valley, formed in response to Squaw Valley Ski Holding’s proposed expansion of the village at the base of the iconic resort. The proposed 25-year development would include hotels, condos, and a mountain adventure center complete with zip lines and waterslides, according to initial renderings. The group, consisting of longtime Squaw locals such as Tom Day and Robb Gaffney, hoped that incorporation would give residents of Olympic Valley a stronger voice in the direction of the community. The movement at this time has come to a halt, the group stating in a press release that it was outmatched by its larger opponent. (POWDER reported on the proposed development and Incorporate Olympic Valley in Cross Roads.)
Initial efforts of Incorporate Olympic Valley were focused on analyzing the town’s finances to see if Olympic Valley would be fiscally viable. A review of finances by a consultant for the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission found the newly formed town would not be financially sustainable. Incorporate Olympic Valley appealed to the California State Controller’s Office for a review, the results of which have been interpreted differently by each side.
Using decisions from the review, Incorporate Olympic Valley’s municipal consultant found the proposed town would earn $15 million of revenues net of expenses over the first 10 years. However, the Placer County Local Agency Formation Commission questions the State Controller’s findings and maintains their view that the town is not fiscally viable.
“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,” said Fred Ilfeld, Board Chair of Incorporate Olympic Valley, in a press release.
Looking to the future, Incorporate Olympic Valley board members say they remain dedicated to building a cohesive community in Olympic Valley and will be supporting local efforts on this mission.