With so much attention focused on Squaw and KSL’s planned village development, another Tahoe ski resort development has been largely overlooked. Homewood Mountain Resort on Tahoe’s West Shore has been experiencing its own “renaissance” plans the last two years as owners JMA have pushed forward proposals to build a village complete with and ice skating rink, slopeside condos, and even an amphitheater.
While this news is far from new having been two years in the making, what has changed however is the recent ruling by a U.S. District Court Judge preventing proposed development at Homewood Mountain Resort from moving forward until a downsized project gets a closer look. Citing environmental and economic concerns, District Court Judge William Shubb has put a hold on Homewood’s master plan until an environmental document giving further consideration to a smaller project has been submitted.
Opposition to development led by the Tahoe Area Sierra Club, Friends of the West Shore, and local community members have long been fighting for a scaled down version of the planned development. The ruling last month was seen as a major victory to the environmental groups worried about development ruining Tahoe’s picturesque landscape. Wendy Park, an attorney with Earthjustice, the public interest law firm that represented the environmental groups had this to say,
“This decision is yet another reminder that the agencies entrusted with protecting
beautiful Lake Tahoe, which has already suffered so much from runaway development,
must not continue to allow private gain at the Lake’s expense” – Wendy Park, Earthjustice attorney
While this ruling is a victory for the environmental groups, it may be short term. Homewoods owners JMA Ventures is confident that with a slightly scaled down version it will “ultimately prevail and put the resort on the path to economic sustainability.”
While it is easy to forget about Homewood with all the talk about indoor water parks and such at Squaw, development plans are still being pushed forward and fought against largely unheard. Whether you ski Homewood everyday, every now and then, or never, development at this laid back mom and pop style operation will affect all of Tahoe in some form or another. So while you’re rallying against Andy Wirth and his ski-in ski-out Starbucks, don’t forget to think about the lesser known of Tahoe and how it will affect the region as a whole.