Richmond's Community Board 13 opposed the construction of a $3 billion casino resort in the city. The government-appointed members claim that the project will lower the quality of life of the region's residents. It is renowned for the Cyclone roller coaster, the Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel, and Nathan's Hot Dogs.
Even so, the island's residents are deliberating on backing the proposed casino in Brooklyn town. They are considering its benefits to the community. Still, the casino is one among the nine proposed gaming venues for downstate New York.
Community Board 13 is among New York City's 59 community boards. Each of them constitutes unpaid members who borough presidents appoint after liaising with borough council members, who are required to work or live in their communities.
The boards perform advisory roles in borough districts. They also address zoning and land use issues.
Thor Equities, a New York realtor, led a consortium that pitched the $3 billion casino resort. It comprises Legends Hospitality, the Chickasaw Nation, and Saratoga Casino Holdings.
The Community Board's Objection
The casino consortium intends to develop "The Coney," a gaming resort on a five-acre parcel of land that Thor owns. It is located at Stillwell and Surf Avenues. Even so, the board's 13 members voted in opposition to the casino in last week's meeting.
Lucy Mujica Diaz, CB13's Chair, said that traffic is a major challenge in the city now. Yet, the casino's developers want to increase traffic.
The Community Board's resolution highlighted allowing casino gambling and the increase of vices like crime. It added that the community won't endure the challenges that the casino will create.
Community Board 13 (CB13) members urged elected officials to partner with them in solving the region's challenges rather than increasing them.
The board met with other community members, and they agreed to oppose the casino project in the district. Moreover, they want local officials to alert the New York State Gaming Commission about their resolution on which they voted 23-8.
The board's stand on the issue isn't enough to prevent the casino's construction. Brooklyn Councilman Ari Kagan, from Coney Island, stated that he agrees with the Community Board's opposition. He added that he has discussed the proposal with many residents, and they are opposing it.
The Casino's Developers Defend Their Proposal
The casino consortium refuted the CB13 resolution saying it traversed Coney Island and got over 3,300 signatures from residents who are backing the casino.
It released a statement indicating that New Yorkers know that the resort will boost their economy by creating permanent jobs and improving safety. So, all judgments on the project made hurriedly are shortsighted and premature as they don't solve the community's existing problems like infrastructure and unemployment.
The state's 2013 commercial gaming regulation allowed the development of three casinos in downstate and four in upstate. Downstate is described as the Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City.