Approved Homewood Ski Resort redevelopment Delayed by Environmental Groups Lawsuit
A legal challenge will delay the start of a major redevelopment of an aging Tahoe ski resort until at least 2014, resort representatives said.
The $500 million upgrade of Homewood Mountain Resort on Tahoe’s west shore, approved a year ago by Placer County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, is on hold due to a lawsuit filed by environmental groups.
“Right now, the focus is cleaning up the lawsuit,” said Paul Raymore, senior marketing manager at Homewood.
Described by supporters as a prime example of the type of redevelopment project needed at Tahoe to help boost a weak economy while providing needed environmental protections, the Homewood project was attacked by detractors as too big and a threat to both the lake’s environment and rustic charm.
Less than a month after TRPA’s governing board voted in favor of the project, Earthjustice — representing the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore — sued the agency and Placer County in U.S. District Court. The groups contend the project would pack area roads with traffic, worsen air pollution and spew runoff into the lake. The lawsuit demands a new environmental review of its impacts.
The project calls for bulldozing much of the existing 50-year-old resort and turning the 1,253-acre property into a destination resort with a four-story hotel, ski-in condominiums, two lodges and retail space.
The end result, Art Chapman, founder of JMA Ventures said, would be a “very exclusive, high-end resort” at the site of an increasingly dilapidated property. TRPA cites significant environmental benefits, including ...