Las Vegas Sun

March 24, 2019

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Planned casino at MLK, Craig draws opposition

Bright lights and the clanging sounds of casino tokens dropping into slot machine trays don't appeal to Bonnie Kelley, who lives just over half a mile from a proposed casino site in North Las Vegas.

She insists she's not anti-gaming but pro-neighborhood.

Kelley and her daughter, Denise, have filed an appeal form with the city seeking to reverse a Planning Commission decision last month to allow Station Casinos Inc. to build Craig Ranch Station, a Mediterranean-themed hotel-casino on Martin Luther King just south of Craig Road.

The council will hear the item Wednesday but the city staff will recommend that the council stick with the Planning Commission's decision.

The council tried to nix the same application in 1998 when NevStar Gaming Entertainment Corp. approached the city about building the NevStar 2000 casino. Residents came out in droves to speak of their concerns about the proximity of the site to schools and residential areas.

The city denied NevStar's plans, but was later forced to grant a special-use permit for the site after a District Court judge ruled the council's decision was "arbitrary and capricious" because the land is zoned for gaming.

Although the NevStar plan fell through and Station has since revamped the site plan, planning commissioners still expressed concerns about the location last month. By a 4-3 vote, the members granted Station a one-year extension of the license to complete construction and amend the original NevStar plans. The license expires in February 2001.

Bonnie Kelley moved to North Las Vegas more than four years ago and said she was never informed that her neighborhood was near a potential gaming site.

"I just don't believe in casinos being in a residential area," she said. "I know this is the state for gambling, but there should be a limit. I feel this is not the place for it."

She is also worried about an increase in traffic and drunken driving that would accompany a new casino.

Another resident, Mary Saylor, who lives about 1 1/2 miles from the site, said she was concerned about a drop in property values.

"I don't gamble. I think people will be more likely to drink and drive, and I just don't feel comfortable with that," she said. "There's already enough casinos. Why build one so close?"

According to staff reports, the property would feature a 69,000-square-foot casino, a five-story, 200-room hotel, 10 theaters and more. The project would sit on nearly 34 acres now owned by Desert Mesa Land Partners Ltd.

Plans also show future expansion of about 138,500 square feet.