October 22, 2015 - 10:30 AM
PENTICTON - City Council is smoothing the way for Gateway Casinos to relocate on city-taxed property.
A zoning amendment that would include casino operation as a defined use was requested by staff at a council meeting earlier this week.
Director of Development Services Jules Hall said staff were alerted through media reports the Penticton Lakeside Resort was not renewing its lease with Gateway Casinos, adding the casino’s importance as an employer and revenue generator makes keeping the casino in Penticton a 'strategic priority.'
“With the report it will no longer be operating (at Lakeside Resort) as of May 14, 2017, it is opportune to address this amendment to the zoning bylaw,” Hall said.
The city does have 'indoor amusement, entertainment and recreation' listed in several zones, a category seen by staff as a similar use to a casino operation. The proposed amendment will see casino included in that category.
Hall said the change will allow any property now permitting 'indoor amusement, entertainment and recreation' to operate a casino without further zoning amendments. However, he cautioned, any casino application will still be required to go through a rigorous consultation process, according to the provisions covering casinos in provincial legislation.
Council was asked to give first reading to the bylaw amendment removing the specific designation of casino from the zoning bylaw and include reference to casino within the definition of indoor amusement, entertainment and recreation. Council agreed to changes, and will deal with the matter next at a public hearing on Nov. 2.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015