Tahoe City, CA – Before a packed house of observers at their monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) Governing Board voted to approve Phase 1 of the Homewood Mountain Resort Ski Area Master Plan.
Homewood is a small, 50-year old family oriented ski resort located on more than 1,200 acres on the west shore of Lake Tahoe that has been identified by TRPA as a property in need of environmental redevelopment. The vote allows the property owner, JMA Ventures of San Francisco, to begin construction of the $500 million project which is scheduled to begin in 2014.
“I am pleased the Board took decisive action to approve a project so critical to the health of Lake Tahoe and the West Shore community,” said TRPA Executive Director, Joanne S. Marchetta.
Once completed, the Master Plan will revitalize the local ski resort and deliver environmental benefits to the Tahoe Basin, proponents say. The project is intended to transform Homewood into a destination resort and includes construction of a 5-star hotel with up to 75 rooms, 56 residential condominiums, 47 multi-family condominiums, 48 ski-in ski-out chalets, 13 workforce housing apartments and 15,000 square feet of retail space using Gold Standard Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green construction techniques.
“This is the only mixed-use resort in the U.S. that will be incorporating Gold LEED construction standards,” stated JMA Venture President, Art Chapman, explaining some of the environmental benefits of the Homewood Mountain Resort Master Plan, which also includes keeping over 80,000 pounds of harmful sediment from entering Lake Tahoe each
year through an aggressive erosion control program on the entire watershed of the Homewood Ski Area. Project officials estimate that it will result in increased annual visitor spending in the local community of $16-20 million, approximately 180 new full-time jobs and 500 construction jobs.
In addition to the new housing, the redevelopment calls for a community swimming pool and ice-skating rink, an amphitheater for summer concerts, new ski lifts and day lodge improvements, a bike trail to Tahoe City and boat parking facilities. Weekend and holiday lift ticket sales will be capped.
As a result of over 1,800 comments submitted during the Draft Environmental Impact Statement review process, Homewood Mountain Resort made key adjustments to the master plan such as reducing the project size, moving the location of several buildings within the resort, and adding additional environmental monitoring requirements over the next 20 years to ensure the project terms are honored. During the hearing, TRPA’s Governing Board heard nearly 70 public comments which were more than two-to-one in support of approving the Homewood Mountain Resort project.
“Today the public process worked for the benefit of Lake Tahoe,” said Norma Santiago, TRPA Governing Board Chair. “After thousands of comments, four hours of public testimony, and a rigorous analysis of the environmental impacts of the project over the last four years, the final Homewood project will be better for the lake and the community.”
“The environment and the economy go hand in hand,” said Rene Koijane, a full-time Homewood resident and mother of two, “and this project embraces both.”