West Shore Issues

Members of FOWS include full-time and part-time residents who have had properties for generations as well as new additions to our communities. We strive to develop a stronger, collective voice in future development and other changes that will occur on the West Shore. Below is a summary of current issues affecting the West Shore. Please click on the links provided for more details:

  • TRPA’s Regional Plan & Strategic Initiatives: The TRPA’s Regional Plan is a “package” of documents and initiatives that regulate land use in the Lake Tahoe Basin. A comprehensive update in December 2012 allowed for substantial increases in development and increased the authority of Placer County to approve projects in the basin through the adoption of local Area Plans (more below). In 2014, TRPA adopted a Strategic Plan, which identifies ten “Strategic Initiatives” to be completed between 2015-2020. Many of these initiatives lay the foundation for future amendments to the Regional Plan.
  • Placer County – Tahoe Basin Area Plan: The Placer County Tahoe Basin Area Plan (adopted January 2017) covers the entire in-Basin portion of the county and is likely to result in more crowding, congestion, taller and wider buildings, more water and air pollution, more noise, and more vehicles driving along the West Shore.
  • Placer County – Martis Valley West Parcel Specific Plan and Brockway Campground/Martis Valley West Parcel Area Plan: Martis Valley West Parcel Specific Plan allows for the development of 760 news homes, commercial and retail uses, and associated infrastructure on a now forested area adjacent to the Tahoe Basin boundary just east of Brockway Summit (on state route 267), creating more traffic in the Lake Tahoe Basin and scenic impacts from viewpoints within and around the Lake Tahoe Basin. Within the Tahoe Basin boundary, the proposed Martis Valley West Parcel Area Plan aims to build 112 luxury homes as part of a gated community on a forested, undeveloped ridgeline in North Lake Tahoe. In 2015, the Area Plan application was ‘suspended’ and the 550-unit Brockway Campground involving substantial development was proposed.
  • El Dorado County – There is currently no schedule related to Area Plan development for areas of the West Shore within El Dorado County.
  • Homewood Mountain Resort (HMR) Ski Area Master Plan: In 2011, the TRPA and Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the proposed expansion of the Homewood Mountain Resort (HMR). Unfortunately, years of community input showing support for a reduced-size project did not sway the agencies’ approvals, nor did the anticipated environmental impacts of the project on the West Shore. FOWS partnered with the Sierra Club to challenge the project’s approval. In January 2014, we reached a settlement with the developer to reduce the impacts of the resort’s expansion. In September 2016, the settlement of a separate lawsuit brought by another organization resulted in the preparation of the Homewood Evacuation and Life Safety Report, which “includes several items on a programmatic level that will lower the demand on evacuation systems by providing defensible space, fire-safe buildings, increased firefighting capacity and areas of refuge for residents.”
  • Fanny Bridge/S.R. 89 Realignment Project: In 2015, TRPA and Placer County approved the Fanny Bridge/S.R. 89 Realignment project, which will construct a new bridge over the Truckee River and add two new roundabouts in the area. Not only will this cause more environmental harm in the area, including the addition of a new highway segment across the 64-acre Tract, but it will also increase vehicle use of S.R. 89 and contribute to additional congestion along the West Shore. FOWS will continue to monitor construction and traffic impacts of this project.
  • Other Activities affecting West Shore: FOWS is concerned about the planned and proposed expansions of areas adjacent to the West Shore, including major increases in development in Squaw Valley and Martis Valley. More residents and guests in these areas will mean more people driving to Tahoe City and along the West Shore, increasing water and air pollution, creating additional public safety hazards, and causing other environmental resource damage. In addition, FOWS is concerned about the impacts of the proposed route for the Alpine Meadows to Squaw Valley Gondola, which may negatively impact the federally-designated Granite Chief Wilderness Area.