The Northstar Mountain Master Plan was developed through years of diligent planning and collaboration by Northstar and community stakeholders. Northstar wants to maintain its competitiveness as a resort destination by upgrading existing services, amenities and operations. This includes providing a better balance of skier amenities, improving lift technology, and increasing the variety and mix of recreational activities. We will do this by implementing a plan that respects and adheres to the habitat and land use goals defined in the Northstar Habitat Management Plan (HMP). The timeline below illustrates the evolution of the Northstar Mountain Master Plan.
Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. (operator of Northstar during this time) begins conceptual planning for the Northstar Overall Mountain Master Plan (OMMP) while considering the original 1970s mountain planning documents.
Placer County Board of Supervisors adopts the updated Martis Valley Community Plan.
Northstar continues conceptual planning efforts for the Northstar Overall Mountain Master Plan with detailed internal analysis.
Environmental organizations legally challenged Placer County's approval of the 2003 Martis Valley Community Plan update. Local residents and conservationists from around the state expressed strong concerns over the potential environmental, economic and social impacts related to the scale of development in the region and the numerous development proposals that were taking shape, including those from Northstar.
Sierra Watch, Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, and the real estate and mountain operations entities associated with Northstar California Resort, came to an agreement with regard to the development of the Northstar Highlands project and certain other approved, proposed or contemplated development projects at the ski resort.
Seeking an alternative to ongoing litigation, regional and local stakeholders joined with the developers in negotiations over proposed developments and conservation priorities that led to a collaborative blueprint for the future of the region. Components of the agreement with Northstar included:
- Creation of a Habitat Management Plan (HMP) for Northstar that provides a framework for long-term management, conservation, and monitoring of biological resources at Northstar, while allowing for reasonable economic uses for development and recreational activities
- Agreement to manage 2,350 acres of land in Northstar ownership for conservation (designated as lands in "HMP Zone E").
Northstar begins preparation of the Northstar Habitat Management Plan through collaboration with East West Partners, Sierra Watch, Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, Conservation Biology Institute, and AECOM.
Northstar Habitat Management Plan is finalized. The creation of the Habitat Management Plan was an extensive, thorough three-year process that featured a land use and habitat-based management process versus a species-based planning approach.
» Northstar Habitat Management Plan
2009 - 2013
Northstar Habitat Management Plan is implemented as an adaptive management document at Northstar (2009 – present). Components of the Habitat Management Plan implementation include:
- Approximately 200 acres of forest enhancement performed (2010-2012)
- Invasive Weed Remediation program
- Promised Land and Zephyr Lodge projects (2011) incorporate HMP design and construction practices
- Seasonal wildlife closure implemented on portions of Northstar lands to protect sensitive wildlife species
- Annual stream assessments
As the design of the Northstar Overall Mountain Master Plan progresses, the plan is revised to ensure consistency with the Habitat Management Plan. (2009 to present)
Vail Resorts acquires Northstar from Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc.
The Conservation Biology Institute on behalf of Mountain Area Preservation (MAP) and Sierra Watch reviews the Master Plan and a letter is prepared declaring the Northstar Mountain Master Plan to be consistent with the Habitat Management Plan.
Northstar submits application to Placer County for the Northstar Mountain Master Plan, after more than 10 years of thorough planning efforts (previously referred to as the Overall Mountain Master Plan).
» Northstar Mountain Master Plan
November – December 2012
Placer County 30-day public circulation of the Northstar Mountain Master Plan (NMMP) "Notice of Preparation" for the Environmental Impact Report (EIR). During this review period, Placer County received public comments via email, letters, and verbal comments at public meetings. Placer County hosted two public meetings at the North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach, CA to obtain public comment.
Placer County and PMC (3rd party EIR consultant) prepare the Northstar Mountain Master Plan Draft EIR. Comments provided during the public scoping period will be addressed in the Draft EIR.
The Northstar Mountain Master Plan Draft EIR available for a 45-day public review and comment period from November 26, 2013 – January 13, 2014.
A public hearing on the Draft EIR is held on January 9, 2014. The purpose of the hearing is to receive comments on the Draft EIR for the project.
An electronic copy of the document is available on the Placer County website
Placer County prepared the Northstar Mountain Master Plan Final Environmental Impact Report (Final EIR) on June 9, 2014. The Notice of Availability and the Final EIR can be found at this link on the County's website.
After public circulation of the Final EIR, Northstar requested an off calendar continuance to further review public comment, County documents and focus on pending matters within the resort.
Northstar files a request to Placer County to restart project processing. Placer County will prepare an Errata to address any changes in environmental setting and cumulative conditions since the circulation of the Final EIR (June 2014). The project will be scheduled for consideration at upcoming Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor hearings in Fall 2016/Winter 2017.
Northstar set to appear before the Placer County Planning Commission on November 17, 2016 at the North Tahoe Events Center in Kings Beach.