In 2007, JMA Ventures (JMA), the parent company of Homewood Village Resorts, LLC.,
proposed to expand Homewood Mountain Resort (HMR) shortly after acquiring it in 2006.
Locals and patrons immediately called for the continuation of public recreation on this beloved mountain.
In 2011, the TRPA and Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the proposed expansion of HMR.
Over ten years have passed since the TRPA approved the Homewood Mountain Resort Master Plan, and much has changed.
“We want to make sure that whatever happens is in keeping with the character of the Homewood/Tahoma community.”
— TRPA spokesperson, Julie Regan,
"The Last Resort" What does the future look like for Lake Tahoe’s Homewood Mountain Resort -Sierra Sun, Jan 25, 2008
COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM
Visual simulation of architectural design from approved Master Plan
“The new Homewood Resort design is conceived as an alpine village community in the architectural style of the classic old Tahoe lodges…
Certain architectural features, in particular, gable and hipped roof shapes, dormer configurations, as well as the use of exposed timber and natural materials are designed to express the Tahoe lodge design theme in the manner of the Tahoe Tavern and Ehrman Mansion. These and similar National Park Service structures, exemplified by such buildings as The Ahwahnee Hotel.” (p. 28).
“In keeping with what Homewood has meant to so many of us over the generations, the design theme is 'Old Homewood,' which will find expression in the future architecture and design.”
— Homewood Mountain Resort's Newsletter "On The Homefront" Dec. 2006
It has been over 10 years since the Ski Area Master Plan for Homewood Mountain Resort was approved, however, an extension was granted by TRPA as JMA was stated to have begun construction on a new chairlift (although it seems to merely have been the retrofitting of the Ellis), thereby activating the permit that would otherwise have expired in 2020 (having already been extended by TRPA the previous year for reasons unknown).
In 2021, the developers of HMR proposed a revision to the design and configuration of the residences as part of the initial phase of construction. The classic “Old Tahoe'' design explicitly mentioned in the approved Master Plan is being replaced with a design that will be intentionally jarring against the natural landscape and surrounding neighborhood. With little notice or opportunity for participation and meaningful community input, Placer County Building Department's Tahoe Basin Design Review Committee gave its approval of the change in architecture, though it has now become evident that proper plan area statements and guidelines, along with the Master Plan itself, were not provided to the DRC members at the time of their decision.
“The community relied on the architectural design depicted in the Master Plan for the Homewood Mountain Resort development. The design was drastically changed without notice to, and the participation of, the community. The new modern design would change the entire look of Homewood and is incompatible with the character and existing architecture.”
Objection Letter - June 18, 2021
The Master Plan had been guided by extensive community input until these modifications were made without the public being aware.
Modifications — such as the revised Mountain Modern architectural design and discreet plans for privatization — were not evaluated nor approved by the Master Plan and thus warrant comprehensive review and public engagement.
For the past 14 years, Friends of the West Shore (FOWS), a non-profit community conservation organization, has been following the progress of the project, updating the community with status reports on their website and through newsletters. Keep Homewood Public (KHP), a grassroots organization of local residents, has formed to lead the effort of informing the Lake Tahoe community at large about the developer's plans to restrict access to HMR and to promote public comment concerning the architectural aspects of the project. Sign up for the KHP Newsletter HERE.
DESIGN REVIEW SUBMITTED TO PLACER COUNTY BUILDING DEPT.
Residential Renderings — Walton Architecture + Engineering
(This design style was not depicted in the TRPA-approved HMR Master Plan)
No official updates from the developer have been provided to the public regarding the future plan for Homewood since they announced in April 2022 that they would start construction in the Summer of 2022. However, the final prospectus for Homewood Mountain & Lake Club, www.welcometohomewood.com (not currently searchable via web browsers or search engines) clearly shows the plans which are currently being reviewed by Placer County Building Department.
"At Homewood, members can expect
the privacy, exclusivity, five-star service that define Discovery Land Company."
— Homewood Project Overview, 2022
"The new development will have a strong focus on exclusivity."
— Mohari, main equity investor since 2022
"Lake Tahoe's most-exclusive community to date."
In an email correspondence, sent in direct response to the recent increase of public concern regarding the changes to the project, Arthur Chapman, Founder and Chairman of JMA Ventures LLC, stated: "As proposed, the new model will be membership-oriented with both a residential component and non-residential membership that will be offered to the public.
"We won’t know how much the non-residential membership will cost until we complete our analysis of what the total costs of necessary improvements will be. We can tell you that it will be a vertical membership that will include the primary member’s family (parents, children, grandchildren)."
— Art Chapman, firstname.lastname@example.org January 22, 2023
Similar social club & recreational memberships from around the Tahoe/Truckee region range from $8,450—$17,500+ in yearly dues, with initiation fees of $10,000—$100,000. Memberships offered by Discovery Land Company at the "Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana—another private ski club—requires an initiation fee of $300,000 and annual dues of $37,500." Overall, the resort will be limited to about 1,000 individuals on the mountain in a day. With 180 new residences and a proposed vertical membership (presumably modeled after Martis Camp's club membership that may be passed on to future heirs as well, generation after generation), this leaves little room for the rest of the West Shore community. When asked what assurance the community has that Homewood won’t become completely private in the future, Chapman replied:
"As proposed, local residents will have
an opportunity to ski at Homewood on select
non-holiday weekdays every few weeks.”
— Art Chapman, Moonshine Ink, March 25,2022
— Art Chapman, email@example.com January 22,2023