Surrey council votes down $100M mega casino
CTV British Columbia
Published Saturday, January 19, 2013 12:12PM PST
Last Updated Saturday, January 19, 2013 7:10PM PST
Surrey City Council has voted down a controversial mega casino project after a marathon council session ended early Saturday morning.
The proposal was rejected 5 to 4 after a hearing that lasted seven hours, with Mayor Dianne Watts as the tie-breaking vote.
More than 100 people had signed up to speak about the project, which was proposed for a rural area near Highway 99 and 10th Ave. The $100-million complex was to include restaurants, a hotel, theatre and a 60,000 square-foot casino.
Residents at lengthy meetings over the past week voiced their concerns that the casino would invite crime and destroy agricultural land. The meetings were continued over a few days because so many people signed up to speak.
"Putting a facility like this right as you cross the border just makes us looks like every other cheap, money grubbing little town all the way down the I-5,” one local farmer said Wednesday.
While facing opposition, the project was supported by local business groups. The Surrey Board of Trade, the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and the South Surrey - White Rock Chamber of Commerce supported the project, saying the centre would be a benefit economically and keep spending local.
Though the proposal was voted down, the city says they are still in need of a hotel and conference complex moving forward.