My Turn: Questions about Homewood redevelopment | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Questions about Homewood redevelopment

We recently read with great interest the article andamp;#8220;Tahoeandamp;#8217;s Homewood Resort in danger of closing.andamp;#8221; Seeing as we both share lifelong family connections with Tahoe, and particularly the West Shore, that our parents and grandparents also did, we felt obliged to write. My wifeandamp;#8217;s family still has a second family home in Homewood, and we have countless wonderful memories of times spent there with family and friends, both living and now deceased. I have many good reminiscences of what was then the West Shore Lodge when Pete Bianucci ran it, especially of the cold snowy winter in the early 60andamp;#8217;s when I lived in one of the Lodgeandamp;#8217;s unheated cabins.When Helen Aldrich was developing the skiing facilities at Homewood, our daughters learned to ski there. Our grandchildren have enjoyed time at Tahoe, and we hope that our great grandchildren will also be able to have the opportunity to experience the same magical allure that the West Shore of Tahoe has always provided. It would truly be a shame to forever destroy this area by over development. The tremendous impact of the vastly increased traffic, from the andamp;#8220;wyeandamp;#8221; in Tahoe City down to the West Shore would forever change the quality of this residential area of Tahoe!A few statistics were not disclosed in the article, among them: What are the plans regarding the heights of the proposed hotel, condominiums, base and mid-mountain lodges? How many stories are planned for each of these? What effect to the skyline of Homewood will there be when viewed from elsewhere around the lake? And, how will this impact the beauty of Lake Tahoe as a whole?What are the true ramifications to be caused by the size of the proposed expansion of Homewood Mountain Resort? With close to 200 full-time jobs slated, what are the plans for living accommodations for these employees? And, aside from the 75-room hotel and its staff and guests, with plans for 25,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store, hardware store and ice cream parlor, what will be the next perceived need for growth for the give or take 200 full-time employees and those who would occupy the 40 condo and 30 penthouse units? Will a chain drug store or fast food franchise be next seen as needed? Growth begets growth. Will this be just the tip of the iceberg for all the development that will ensue? Is this to be a precursor, leading to a clone of something, like how the South Shore was ultimately developed? As proposed, what will the huge influx of business have on such a quiet and basically residential area?Let us hope the TRPA is truly weighing growth versus what is best for the future of the lake. The preservation of one of California and Nevadaandamp;#8217;s premier attractions and the protection of the area for future generations appears to be what is at stake.The West Shore is one of the last enclaves remaining of the charm and atmosphere, of what we see as still being able, to experience the grandeur of the old Tahoe of 50, or more, years ago. There is andamp;#8220;Only Oneandamp;#8221; Lake Tahoe! So, letandamp;#8217;s hope that there is a way to both save the wonderful Homewood Mountain Resort and still keep from doing irreparable harm to the West Shore.Gary J. andamp; Clarinda Best StolleryNevada City