The Associated Press
BILOXI, Miss. — The Biloxi City Council has rezoned property west of Interstate 110 to waterfront to make way for a new casino.
Waterfront zoning is required before the Mississippi Gaming Commission will consider whether it is a legal site.
The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/H3eKIM) the vote for the rezoning was 5-2 on Tuesday and along the same line as the approval of a baseball stadium a week ago.
The council also heard casino operators and Wall Street investors are interested in financing the proposed Biloxi Boardwalk Casino Hotel.
The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/H3eKIM ) the vote for the rezoning was 5-2 on Tuesday and along the same line as the approval of a baseball stadium a week ago.
The question comes down to language in state law that allows casinos to be built onshore after Hurricane Katrina.
Before the 2005 storm, areas west of I-110 were excluded from casino development. A 1998 ruling by the Gaming Commission established an imaginary line from 1,200 feet west of I-110 on the D’Iberville side, where casino sites were already proposed, diagonally to the center of the I-110 bridge in Biloxi. It essentially separated the Biloxi Bay to the east and the Back Bay of Biloxi to the west and prohibited casino development west of the bridge.
The land currently is zoned to allow a hotel, stores, restaurants — everything but a casino floor, said Wayne Hengen, a Biloxi attorney hired by the property owners to help get the zoning change.
Councilman George Lawrence said by opposing the rezoning, he was protecting Biloxi’s other nine casinos from over-development, and the people who rebuilt their homes in that area from having to live near a casino.
“There’s really no need for it,” he said.
Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com