City looks to designate section for resort development

Published 6:44 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2006

City planners here will hold a public hearing on Oct. 24 to discuss a proposed zoning change in the city’s effort to designate the southeastern section of the city for casino resort development.

The area, from the Jackson County line to Interstate 110, includes 350 parcels of land.

Currently one casino development is planned on the west side of Interstate 110, an area already zoned for gambling resorts and condominiums.

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The city is seeking an overlay of the base zoning that would not prevent property owners from rebuilding homes in the area, said City manager Richard Rose.

“It’s a little bit unusual because it is superimposing on existing zoning,” Rose said.

Rose said the city wants to give casino investors guidance on areas suitable for development. He wanted residents to know that the city will not force people to sell out to a casino through eminent domain.

“We will not eminent domain private property for the direct benefit of a private developer,” Rose said. “We won’t eminent domain private property to turn around and sell to a developer. We will eminent domain property for road improvements. Every municipality and county does that all over the nation.”

The Planning Commission was directed to hold the hearing by the city after 42 residents who petitioned for the change in July.