Citizens Feeling Left Out Of Casino Planning

<p>Residents are upset that plans for a waterfront casino in Sparks, Nevada, were not revealed to the public early enough in the planning project. Many fear that by the time a public hearing is held, the citizen voice will have no power to make changes.</p>
February 24, 2007, 11am PST | Nate Berg
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"Sparks Marina residents worried a proposed casino-resort may have a negative impact on their neighborhood may soon have more details about the project. But some Harbour Cove Drive-area homeowners say that information may come too late, thus minimizing their influence on the project's planning."

"'They are doing this all after the fact,' retired Washoe County planner Don Young said. 'They are getting the completed project to the City of Sparks before they go to the citizens. That is backward.'"

"But developer Olympia Gaming LLC and city officials contend letting residents see incomplete plans would be futile. In October, Olympia submitted plans to the Sparks Community Development Department for the project, which would include an 18-story hotel tower reaching as high as 288 feet. Planning staff deemed the plans incomplete and asked Olympia to submit further information that included how big of a shadow the tower would cast."

"'The best thing to do is to wait till we get the resubmitted plans because it doesn't make any sense to review old plans,' said Ward 3 Councilman Ron Smith."

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Published on Friday, February 23, 2007 in Reno Gazette-Journal
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