Proposed plans for the expansion of Homewood Mountain Resort have been put on hold by a federal court ruling.
The Lake Tahoe resort 's plan had been approved in 2011 for county and regional agencies to begin building overnight, four-season facilities at what has been known for years as the locals’ hill on the lake.
However, a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and others contended that planners did not adequately consider a scaled-down version of the plan – and a federal judge recently agreed and sent the plan back for reconsideration.
The original proposal would add a four-story hotel, condominiums, townhouses and ski-in chalets and more retail shops to the resort on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. Homewood currently has no overnight accommodations.
The alternative that the judge ordered to be considered would reduce the maximum number of residential units and hotel rooms allowed from 336 to 284 – a scale-back designed to further decrease the project’s impact upon the regional environment. The judge's order does not mean the project may not be allowed to proceed under its original scope, only that construction may not begin without further study.
Developers JMA Ventures and Homewood Village Resorts got plans OK’d by Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Placer County for an eight-passenger gondola (replacing the Madden chairlift), a base lodge with hotel rooms, condo and timeshare units, retail space and a new base area. Ironically, the developers figured that overnight accommodations would reduce the amount of day-tripper traffic on Highway 89 and cut into auto emissions – the very argument made in court in opposition to the plan.
Photo: Homewood Mountain Resort rendering