In 2006, JMA Ventures, the parent company of Homewood Village Resorts, proposed to expand Homewood Mountain Resort shortly after acquiring it. Locals and patrons instantly called for the protection of this beloved community asset.
JMA proposed extensive redevelopment plans to reinvent the resort into an overnight destination. The 2011 proposal claimed to preserve Homewood Mountain Resort’s “image as an intimate ski resort free from crowds which creates the ideal environment for both locals and tourists.”
Residents of the West Shore felt strongly that the transformation of the resort should add positively to the community. In response to this public outcry, the Community Enhancement Plan included a “Village Core” comprising conveniences and amenities such as a small market, hardware store, restaurants, amphitheater, ice skating rink, and swimming pool. While the Ski Area Master Plan was being touted as “for the good of Homewood,” behind the scenes it seems as though JMA was laying the groundwork for privatization.
The privatization plan we began hearing about in early 2022 excludes what was originally included in the Community Enhancement Plan, or CEP. As stated on the new Homewood Mountain & Lake Club website, welcometohomewood.com, “earlier this year, the project began to transform Homewood into a luxury lifestyle club” rather than the ideal environment for locals and tourists, as was originally pitched. The new proposal states that neighbors on the West Shore will be able to ski Homewood on “occasional pre-scheduled community days.”
Because of an extension granted by TRPA in January 2020, the developers of Homewood Mountain Resort were able to propose a drastic revision to the approved architectural style and configuration of the project in the spring of 2021. The classic “Old Tahoe’’ design explicitly mentioned in the approved Master Plan is being replaced with a design that will be jarring against the natural landscape and surrounding neighborhood.
The TRPA Community Design threshold policies apply to the built environment and are intended to ensure that design elements of buildings are compatible with the natural, scenic, and recreational values of the region. However, with little notice or opportunity for participation and meaningful community input, the Placer County Building Department Design Review Committee gave its approval of this change.
The shift to privatization and structural modifications obviously change the entire tenor of the CEP and Master Plan as approved by the TRPA and Placer County, yet the project is still being allowed to continue and has not gone back before TRPA or the public for reconsideration. Failure to consider the impact and allow for public input regarding these deviations from the original development plan is backdoor politics and should not be allowed.
Public meetings to review, evaluate, and comment on the new architectural plans and to update the community on the status of the development should take place. As development projects continue to spring up in the Tahoe Basin, residents and those who partake in our beloved communities must advocate for meaningful input on the design and implementation of those projects.
With the future of Homewood at stake, now is the time to get involved. Write letters to Placer County and TRPA representatives to ensure your opinion is heard. Request notification of when public meetings will be held and attend those meetings. Sign up for community newsletters and follow local community groups on Facebook so you can stay informed about opportunities to help make an impact right here at home. Together, we have the power to push for positive change in our community. Act now and demand accountability before JMA and its partners are allowed to disrupt the rare and delicate ecosystem in the Tahoe Basin, which, once lost, can never be recaptured.
For more information about the changes and how to get involved, please visit
~ As a design professional with 30 years of love and appreciation for the community and beauty of the West Shore, Kathleen Annice is doing all she can to help Homewood. As a mom, she is most looking forward to taking turns with her daughter down the same slopes she grew up on.