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Squaw Village Development is a Well-Thought-Out Opportunity

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I have been skiing at Squaw Valley since 1976 and I have been a resident since 1984. I have raised a family of four children all of whom participated in the ski racing development programs that Squaw offers. Two of my daughters excelled in skiing as members of the US Ski Team. My oldest daughter, April Mancuso, used the skiing experience and discipline she learned to facilitate four years of NCAA skiing for the University of Utah, where she was All-American all four years. She later studied medicine and has since become a board-certified physician and specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation. My second daughter, Julia Mancuso, has represented the United States and Squaw Valley on the US Ski Team for 16 years, where she has proudly stood on the podium while earning four Olympic Medals and four World Championship Medals for her country. I am giving this information to help you understand the extent to which we are rooted in Squaw Valley and the depth of our concern about the future of the resort.

I personally have developed two of the best residential subdivisions in the valley — Squaw Summit and Hidden Lake — wherein I have demonstrated my concern for the environment while producing viable, sustainable, and beneficial projects.

When one looks at the history of development in Squaw, it becomes undeniably apparent that little care was taken to preserve the unique environmental qualities of the valley and the mountain. In fact, dating back to the 1960 Olympics and prior to that year, much of the development was done without competent stewardship. During that era, we simply did not possess the awareness or the knowledge to construct with the environment as a priority. Now, we are challenged to not only plan new sustainable and economically feasible projects, but also find a cure for all of the poor development that exists. The current KSL team at Squaw, headed by Andy Wirth, has all the qualifications and integrity to implement their thought-out plan.

As a developer, when I look at all of the possibilities for Squaw Valley that are consistent with the general plan, the current project submitted by Squaw is a very good plan. Not only does it provide an attractive and competent use of the land, it addresses the repair and renovation of much sub-standard development that was done in the past.

I ask Placer County to maintain a focus on all of the benefits to the public and residents provided by each and every aspect of the plan in review. I would also ask that the county not allow itself to get sidelined by many of the issues raised by groups and individuals who oppose the project. I welcome constructive comments by concerned individuals; honesty is paramount to the process. But untrue statements and allegations that are not supported by empirical data and evidence should not be taken as fact.

I have followed the process and review of the project by the Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council (which voted to deny the project in May). Please understand that the majority of the individuals on the committee have joined the committee to further their own agendas and they do not represent the will of a majority of the residents and the stakeholders. I would urge you to look objectively at their comments and to consider their individual qualifications.

~ Ciro Mancuso is a local real estate developer.

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The Opinion Page is your place to spout off. This section contains letters to the editor and longer My Shot pieces. Also, the Spout features two bimonthly perspectives — In the Past, delving into Tahoe Truckee history, and In the Moment, an artistic musing of a moment today.

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February 14, 2019