Homewood resort open house to detail redevelopment plan | SierraSun.com

Homewood resort open house to detail redevelopment plan

Courtesy Homewood Mountain ResortThis is a look at the expansion proposal under review at Homewood Mountain Resort. The gondola would replace the current Madden Chair; the lodge would replace the existing lodge; and the earthen amphitheater would be for summer concert use, and the new home for the Lake Tahoe Music Festival.

HOMEWOOD, Calif. and#8212; For David Tirman, expanding Homewood Mountain Resort to include a bigger bed base is not about vanity. It’s about surviving on the West Shore, which is tougher for visitors to reach and offers a few less amenities than other resorts in the region.

Tirman, the senior vice president of JMA Sierra Ventures (which owns Homewood), says the resort will have to adapt to draw in more guests from outside the traditional commuter areas of Reno, Sacramento and San Francisco.

and#8220;We see a need for a bed base at Homewood to help change the dynamic at the resort to one where someone has the option to stay weeks or seasons out of the year,and#8221; Tirman said. and#8220;In the Lake Tahoe area, we’re in close proximity to 10 to 12 million people within a four-hour drive. The historical precedent has been one of commuter ski areas. That’s changing for Homewood.and#8221;

Owners first proposed the idea of renovating its two base areas in 2006, before officially submitting an application in 2007. Before construction can begin, approval from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency must be garnered, and for that to happen, a Environmental Impact Report must be filed on the effects the additional development could have.

That EIR process is nearly halfway through, Tirman said, which prompted the resort to coordinate another open house on Saturday. This will be the third public open house since the process began. The EIR should be completed at some point in 2010, Tirman said.

West Shore residents who attended last year’s open houses detailing the expansion proposal weren’t always sold on the idea and#8212; and many still aren’t. While some nearby business owners enjoy the idea of more people in the neighborhood, noise and light pollution, as well as other side effects of resort expansion, caused a number of changes to the plan:

The public comments solicited last September pushed the resort, Tirman said, to:

and#8226; decrease the number of new residences from 120 to 99;

and#8226; eliminate a maintenance facility some residents feared would create too much noise in favor of contracting maintenance with other companies;

and#8226; increase the number of workforce housing from 12 to 13 units through design changes;

and#8226; and lower the height of the hotel lodge to 68 feet above the slope.

The master plan proposals also includes a small, neighborhood retail village proposed to include a grocer; a hardware store; an ice cream parlor; an ice skating pond (winter use); and an outdoor earthen amphitheater (summer use) slated as a new home for the Lake Tahoe Music Festival in addition to other community performances.

Homewood Mountain Resort will hold an open house/community forum to give an update on the proposed Master Plan and the ongoing environmental impact review process on Saturday, July 11, from 10 a.m. to noon at the mountain’s North Lodge, directly off of Highway 89.

More information: Visit the Homewood Preview Center located at 5290-B Westlake Boulevard in town of Homewood; call the Homewood Preview Center (530) 525-1537); visit the website at http://www.skihomewood.com/masterplan; or send an e-mail to masterplan@skihomewood.com.

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