Thursday, Feb. 8, 2001 | 11:19 a.m.
Station Casinos Inc. can start building its proposed resort on the Craig Ranch Golf Course following the North Las Vegas City Council's unanimous approval Wednesday of a zoning change.
A two-hour public hearing before the vote pitted supporters wearing green T-shirts that read "Yes Golf Course Casino" against opponents wearing stickers telling the gaming company to keep its hands off their neighborhood.
More than 30 members of the audience were wearing the bright green shirts that were handed out in the lobby before the meeting. But only a handful of them spoke in support of the casino.
Opponents of the casino were concerned primarily about the proximity of Raul Elizondo Elementary School, which is across the street about 1,800 feet away, and the safety of its students. In addition, concerns were raised about the casino's effect on nearby property values, increased traffic and neighborhood safety.
"All it takes is one person who's not there to enjoy the casino to make trouble," Gail Tominac said, noting that gambling halls draw more than gamblers. The proposed site would put the casino at her front door, and that makes her family particularly vulnerable, she said.
Supporters told the council the casino would bring jobs and increase the city's revenues, and that would make it possible for the council to fund projects such as parks and libraries that would enhance the community.
"I think North Las Vegas is very fortunate to have (Station Casinos) coming to our area," Thomas Lisiewski, a real estate agent, said.
Before the public hearing began, Mayor Michael Montandon disclosed that in 1999 he had been involved in a limited liability company with one of the parties involved in the proposed project that will be on Craig Road. He divested himself of that partnership in 1999, he said, and with that disclosure, he voted for the project.