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Population: 840 (2007)
1,396 residences; 369 are occupied year round.

Lakefront

In 1980 Nate Topol bought the Lakefront property where the old Homewood Hotel stood, the Homewood Marina Lodge, the Homewood High & Dry Marina, the Grubstake Lodge and other properties.
He built the Topol Pavilion and scheduled a series of summer concerts.

In 200?-2006 Topol built 3 "Villas at Harborside" (fractional-ownership residences) and completed the new West Shore cafeCafé & Inn. The Villas rent for $3,500-$5,000/week and sell for around $750,000 (units on the lake side of the lot) for a quarter share. The Oliver Realty web site says phase 1 sold out, but as of May, 2007 I heard that only one of the three had sold out.

The Feb., 2006 Homewood Home Owners Association minutes state:

"In view of possible parking and lake access issues brought about by his proposed expansion of the Villas at Harborside Project, Nate has offered to mitigate these issues by materially helping to achieve community-parking solutions. Mr. Topol is also interested in providing assistance to the Association relative to validating the title to our beach parcels. This action would make it possible for the association to significantly improve the lake front parcels in terms of legitimizing the ownership, improving the parcels, and helping with maintenance, thus improving lake access and buoy rights for the association members."

Keep Tahoe Blue urges TRPA no vote in Nov. 2006.

Topol planed to build nine more units, but after objections by residents, reduced the number to six. This was approved by TRPA in Apr., 2007.
As part of the deal Topol agreed to tear down the Homewood Marina Lodge and promised to contribute $100,000 to the Homewood Home Owners Association for development of public beach access in the Homewood area.
Topol will also construct a boat-washing facility, potentially the first at Lake Tahoe, to protect the lake against invasive aquatic species.

Ski Area

Overview:
In 2006 JMA Ventures bought Homewood Mountain Resort (HMR) which was loosing from $500,000 to $1M per year and proposed "a new business model necessary for Homewood to remain a viable public recreational amenity". It is described at the Homewood Master Plan at skihomewood.com and includes:
Character and Lifestyle principles
The timeline calls for construction in 2010-2015
North Base: Base Lodge (50-60 room hotel, 40 two-bedroom hotel condo units, 30 penthouse individually-owned condo units, Lodge with restaurant and spa), workforce housing, 56 two story residential condos spread among 3 buildings, retail space for grocery, hardware, ..., skier services, community pool, underground parking, amphitheater, ...
Mountain: A new mid-mountain lodge will house the upper terminal of a new gondola as well as other services.
Upgraded lifts and a new gondola.
Forest thinning/fuels management to reduce fire risk.
Old road and trail restoration and re-vegetation to reduce runoff.

South Base: 99 residential condominiums (down from 120) and 11 single-family lots.
Transportation: Dial-a-Ride, Shuttle, and Water Taxi services will help improve alternative transportation options.
Renewable Energy: Micro-hydro and solar generation.
Rendering

Total of 285 living units to added to existing 1,396; an increase of 20%.

Comments on the Homewood proposal at a November 7, 2007 public meeting hosted by TRPA to review Community Enhancement Program (CEP) proposals :

Attendees agreed that the Homewood area needs to be revitalized. The participants supported the traffic reduction measures, and the addition of a year-round gondola. Participants commended the surface water, fire, and forest management plans, but expressed concern over the lack of affordable housing in the area. Participants also suggested JMA use green building strategies, pointing out that the ski industry relies on a stable climate. The scale of the development concerned attendees.
Current:
2007
$4-5 M to replace Quad chair with high-speed Quad - Oct. 2007 newsletter
400 acres of forest thinning/fuel management and old road restoration completed. - July 2008 Newsletter
Sodding to provide a temporary venue for the Tahoe Music Festival.

2008
Continued forest thinning/fuel management.
Sponsorship of the Tahoe Music Festival
______________________________________

News:
Homewood Master Plan Newsletters
North Tahoe Citizens Action Alliance (NTCAA) Newsletters

Homewood Mountain Resort (HMR) Community Enhancement Program (CEP) Application to TRPA Feb, 2008

North Tahoe Citizens Action Alliance (NTCAA) Alternative Proposal to TRPA, Feb., 2008
In a letter to the editor of the Sierra Sun, Paul Vatistas, a Director of NTCAA summarizes this alternative.

The developer -- JMA -- is to be applauded for seeking to improve the lifts at Homewood, provide a small neighborhood retail center, reduce the fuel load in the forest and for seeking LEED certification for its project. A hotel/bar/restaurant development on the West Shore will also provide much-needed boost to the local economy.
However, a CEP approval will allow HMR to exceed normal 35-foot height limits, as well as parking and density limitations. He expresses concerns about lake clarity and traffic.

In their July Newsletter, HMR includes a response to some of the issues raised by NTCAA.
Transportation Issues are addressed in the Feb. 2008 newsletter.

Note: I am trying to remain neutral on this project. I think the local residents and NTCAA need to hold JMA's feet to the fire on this development and if we are successful it could it could turn out OK.

History:
In early 2006, Jeff Yurosek, owner of the Homewood Mountain Resort ski area, had plans to sell the land to the US Forest Service and lease it back. Representative John Doolittle blocked the sale.

The Summer 2006 Sierra Citizen said:

"Doolittle's district director Brian Jensen offered this insightful reflection as to why a willing seller of land should be prohibited from deeding a property spanning three watershed to the public: "We don't see a real environmental benefit because there's no change in land use." Huh? This leads one to wonder if perhaps Doolittle is holding out until the Forest Service pledges to aggressively restore and manage the parcel in a manner that maximizes ecological function, eliminates skiing impacts, and reintroduces periodic ground fires into the forest ecology. But that seems doubtful."

It was revealed that the deal was crafted in a manner that allows Yurosek to sell most of the parcel to the Forest Service for up to $65 million, while utilizing the cash from the sale to develop a privately held and expanded commercial center along Highway 89. Not a bad deal, especially if the sale cost is being driven by the speculation of sub-dividing the parcel into mega-estates with sweeping Tahoe views."

Later in 2006 JMA Ventures bought Homewood Mountain Resort (HMR), which has been loosing from $500,000 to $1M per year.
They have plans to build a village with a mix of lodging, shopping and restaurants where the resort's main parking lot is along Highway 89 south.
Some articles have said that the village plan will have underground parking, and a gondola would carry skiers from the village to a mid-mountain day lodge. See more on the potential plans below.

A June, 2006 Tahoe Daily Tribune article said:

Chapman is still hoping for a deal with the Forest Service to preserve the property, and said the resort is seeking $22 million from the Santini-Burton Act. The act reaps money from surplus federal land sales around Las Vegas and uses it to buy environmentally sensitive properties in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

If the mountain does sell to the Forest Service, the money from the sale would be re-invested into the resort, Chapman said.

The Forest Service asked for between $60 million and $65 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund in its 2007 budget, which the federal agency determined was a "high-end estimate for the land" since no serious negotiations had taken place, said Forest Service spokesman Rex Norman.

"It was not based on an appraisal or anything," Norman said.

"We never wanted to develop the mountain," Chapman said. "We looked at it from the standpoint of 'how do we preserve this?'"

Chapman said he believes that Doolittle's opposition to the plan will evaporate once the Congressman is fully briefed.

Homewood Mountain Resort sold several hundred acres, from Madden Creek North to Cherry Street, to the National Forrest Service in 2005.

As of May 2007 there were plans to sell Quail Lake to the Forest Service.

In their Dec, 2006 "On The Homefront" newsletter, the new owners of Homewood Mountain Resort say:
"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."

In a Jan. 22, 2007 interview in the Sierra Sun, Rick Brown, just hired as a JMA VP, said: "What are JMA's plans for Homewood?
"Right now it is a blank piece of paper. We are working with some architects and planners. We are just kind of trying to get a feel for the lay of the land and what we want to do. Financially, it loses a lot of money each year it opens. It cannot remain open if we stay in the current situation. A real estate arm would help that. We want to create a community center. We're looking for a very modest development in that area."

Environmental efforts include "the restoration of the hillside and roads, Re-forestation and forest management. They are also looking at a biomass effort."

In the May 7, 2007 Sierra Sun Article "Homewood plans GREEN RESORT" they say:

"Homewood Mountain Resort has hired the Sierra Business Council -- a nonprofit working to secure the social, environmental and financial health of the Sierra Nevada -- to develop a program to make the resort a leader in sustainable development."

In a November 23, 2007 article in the Sierra Sun, local homeowners propose a scaled down development.

JMA Ventures background:
Best known for their ownership of Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco.
JMA also owns the Tahoe Inn near Tahoe's Crystal Bay.
They are planning to build a high-end hotel and restaurant along the Truckee River in downtown Truckee.
They purchased Alpine Meadows Ski area in the spring of 2007.
President, Art Chapman, lives in Truckee.
Other members of the team are David Tirman - EVP, Rick Brown - VP, Deanna Gescheider - Sales Dir., Kent Hoopingarner - GM of HMR
See the Team for others.
See also: JMA Ventures - New Developments/Homewood Mountain Resort
Homewood Master Plan at skihomewood.com


Other

Bike Path:
In 2006 there was a proposal to relocate the bike path from San Souci to the highway.
At the August, 2006 Homewood Home Owners Association meeting, Lou Reinkins, a Homewood Association member and an elected member of the TCPUD, gave an update on the proposed bike path and highway improvements through Homewood. The final design with alternatives will be available at the end of September. The current agreement is for the bike path to be on the west side of the highway; however, placing the bike path along San Souci Ave. is an alternative. If the bike path is to be along the highway, the highway centerline will need to be moved about 4 ft to the east.

Contact:
Mr. Ken Keaton, Senior Transportation Engineer,
Department of Transportation (District 3)
703 B Street
P.O. Box 911
Marysville, Ca 95901-0911
Phone Number: 916-274-5954 E-mail: keaton@dot.ca.gov


Homewood Traffic:
Peak Month Average Daily Traffic:
1980   1985   1990   1993
9,700 10,400 11,400 14,500 
Source: Traffic Volume Counts on State Highways, Caltrans
Hwy 89 - Ward Creek Bridge:
Year South North
Peak Hr Peak Mo AADT Peak Hr Peak Mo AADT
1999 2200 13700 8100 2000 15800 9500
2005 830 10900 8000 1000 13400 9800
AADT - Annual Average Daily Traffic
Source: Volumes on the California State Highway System CalTrans:
1999 Traffic - Hwy 88-91
2005 Traffic - Hwy 88-91

As part of the Truckee-North Tahoe Transportation Management Association Expansion Study conducted in 1992, a total of sixteen interviews were conducted by LSC staff members with local business leaders. When asked to cite the most important issues that face the Truckee-North Tahoe area, the primary concern indicated by the respondents was that the existing infrastructure will not be able to accommodate future growth in the area. As a result, there is thought to be a high potential for gridlock in the area.

In their Apr, 2007 "On The Homefront" newsletter from Homewood Mountain Resort they say:
Volume in the month of August for SR 89 in Homewood peaked at 13,700 vehicles per day in 1999. In comparison, the 2005 value was 10,900, a 20 percent reduction.

The summer traffic problem on SR 89 at Fanny Bridge, however, is very serious. Due to a combination of high traffic volumes, pedestrians crossing the road and all those "fannies" on Fanny Bridge, north- bound traffic queues form during the middle of busy summer days that can stretch back a mile or more, and result in delays of 30 minutes or more. Traffic levels at Fanny Bridge, moreover, have increased from a 1999 peak month average daily traffic volume of 26,500 to a 2005 volume of 27,500.

See the newsletter for some proposed solutions.


Community Enhancement Program (CEP)
A TRPA program which allows developers to benefit from amendments to local parking, height and density regulations for implementing environmental improvements and projects which enhance the quality of life for residents, improve the visitor experience and contribute to the long-term economic vitality of the region.
Such regulations often get in the way of the sort of mixed-use development TRPA and other local jurisdictions are trying to promote.
TRPA consultant and CEP creator Darin Dinsmore said the CEP provides developers the opportunity to give Tahoe a "creative and designed future," not a "regulated future" as it is right now.

According to MoonShineInk.com it is a planning initiative that turns the agency's traditional approval process on its head. According to TRPA, CEP will demonstrate what Lake Tahoe communities can look and feel like over the next 20 years if we start revamping commercial core areas.

Environmental benefits should include improved water and air quality due to reduction of auto trips, green buildings, and restoration of degraded ecosystems.

Five of seven prosed projects as of July 2008 are in Kings Beach. TRPA will decide in January, 2009 which qualify as CEP projects.

Other programs like the Placer Co. Place-Based Planning Process identifies areas of opportunity to reinvest in Placer County's Basin Community commercial areas. They have targeted Kings Beach, Tahoe Vista, Tahoe City and Homewood.

See: Lake Tahoe Regional Plan Update at Regional Planning Partners
  Placer Vision Summary
An in-depth look at TRPA's innovative Community Enhancement Program at MoonShineInk.com


Glossary:
APC - Advisory Planning Commission - Advises TRPA on technical and scientific issues.
BMP - Best Management Practice
BOS - Board of Supervisors
CEP - Community Enhancement Program - A TRPA program which implement environmental improvements, enhance the quality of life for residents, improve the visitor experience and contribute to the long-term economic vitality of the region.
CEQA - California Environmental Quality Act
CFA - Commercial Floor Area
DBH - Diameter at breast height - Tree measurement outside bark.
EA - Environmental Analysis
EIP - Environmental Improvement Program (TRPA)
EIR/EIS - Environmental Impact Report / nvironmental Impact Statement
HHOA - Homewood Home Owners Association
HMR - Homewood Mountain Resort
JMA Ventures - Owners of Homewood Mountain Resort
LEED - Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - U.S. Green Building Council building certfication.
NOP - Notice of Preperation - Public notification that an EIR/EIS document will be prepared.
NTCAA - North Tahoe Citizens Action Alliance
NTRAC - North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council - Advises the Board of Supervisors.
PAOTS - Persons at One Time - (TRPA) A measure of overnight accomidations for the general public.
PCRA - Placeer County Redevelopment Agency
PUD - Public Utility District
PWG - Placer Co. Place-Based Working Group
SAG - Science Advisory Group - advised TRPA in 2003
SEZ - Stream Environment Zones
SRG - Susan R. Gearhart
TAU - Tourist Accommodation Units
TCPUD - Tahoe City Public Utility District
TMDL- Total maximum daily load. - Allowable fine sediment and nutrients.
TRPA - Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
TWG - Technical Working Group
VMT - Vehicle miles traveled
WIP - Watershed Improvement Project (Kings Beach)

Links:
North Lake Tahoe Development Plan, 1995 - Developed for a committee of citizens appointed by the Placer County Board of Supervisors.
Homewood Master Plan at SkiHomewood.com -   Newsletters
North Tahoe Citizens Action Alliance (NTCAA) - Newsletters
  NTCAA Alternative Proposal to TRPA, Feb., 2008 Homewood History
Homewood Home Owners Association
"Villas at Harborside" at RealtorTahoe.com
Placer County
  Clerk - Recorder
    Search Records
  Placer County Zoning Maps (parcel numbers):
    Ski Lodge (097-130-034), South Ski Lodge (097-050-072)
    Villas at Harborside (097-130-030 to 033)

Villas at Harborside


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last updated 17 July 2008/FONT>