Eastern District Dissolves Injunction, Allows Homewood Ski Area Master Plan to Proceed

On May 1, 2014, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California issued an order granting a joint motion for partial relief from judgment and dissolution of injunction in Sierra Club v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (E.D. Cal., Case No. CIV. 2:12-0044 WBS CKD). In doing so, the court granted relief from its prior order requiring the County of Placer and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) to recirculate the Environmental Impact Report-Environmental Impact Statement (EIR–EIS) for the Homewood Ski Area Master Plan.

The court found the parties met their burden under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b) to modify the court’s original order. Specifically, the court concluded that new economic information supported the EIR-EIS’ discussion of the financially viability of a smaller project. The court also considered a recent settlement between the plaintiffs and the developer, in which the developer agreed to trim the project by 13 units. The court stated that the county and TRPA would determine whether additional environmental review was necessary based on this new information. The court held that the proposed modifications to the project under the settlement and the new evidence regarding the feasibility of alternatives warranted dissolving the injunction.

The court’s decision allows the developer to move forward with the project, as modified by the settlement agreement.

RMM attorneys Whit Manley, Howard (Chip) Wilkins, and John Wheat represented the developer — Homewood Village Resorts, LLC and JMA Ventures, LLC — in the case.