Spanish Lake Casino Opponents Set to Picket County Planning Commission Meeting Tonight
Planning Commission Meeting
Date: September 14, 2009
Time: 5:30-6 p.m.
Location: 41 S. Central, Clayton, MO 63105
Purpose: To demonstrate opposition to a proposal to re-zone nearly 400 acres of Mississippi River floodplain and wetlands in the Spanish Lake community, south of the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, for a casino complex.
The zoning change is being requested in order to build the Riverview Casino complex, a 376-acre development, including parking for 8,000 cars, in the Mississippi River floodplain.
The plan is in direct conflict with the Spanish Lake Community Area Study which was approved by the St. Louis County Council in 1999 at which time the County's Comprehensive General Plan also was amended to include that study.
In addition to costing all taxpayers millions of dollars as public services, road improvements and sewers would have to be newly constructed or extended, the casino is a losing bet for all St. Louis in many ways. Its damage would be expensive, ongoing and irreversible.
The proposed site abuts the southern boundary of Columbia Bottom Conservation Area along the Mississippi River, north of I-270. The area is world renowned as the location of the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, as a breeding ground for eagles and an important haven for migratory birds along the Mississippi flyway. It currently experiences frequent, seasonal flooding and the Missouri Department of Conservation expects the area to continue to be prone to flooding. If approved, this project would continue a pattern of ill-conceived endeavors in St. Louis County that exacerbate flooding by destroying wetlands and increasing the amount of impenetrable surface in the floodplain. The floodplains and wetlands near the project possess rare natural beauty and provide valuable migratory bird and wildlife habitat, in addition to their value for floodwater retention. The Riverview Casino complex would destroy these ecosystems and would undermine the $25 million investment made in the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area.
Attorney Brad Lakin of LakinChapman LLC and his wife, Hallie Lakin, executive Kenneth Goldstein of Argo Products Co. and real estate investor Julie McDonald are the principals of North County Development LLC, the firm behind the development project.
The county planning commission also is expected to consider a proposal tonight that affects Las Vegas-based Pinnacle Entertainment's planned River City casino in Lemay. The commission will consider amending the county zoning ordinance "pertaining to signs for large entertainment complexes including but not limited to casinos."