WE ARE VOTING ON THAT SPECIFIC LOCATION
It’s widely-agreed that the proposed location for the casino is bad and many people have been asking: Would the casino HAVE to be built on that particular lot?
The answer is YES. The referendum is about allowing a casino on that particular lot. There are several reasons why this is a bad location, outlined below. If you think a casino would fit better in another part of town, vote NO.
THE CASINO’S LOCATION WILL CAUSE TERRIBLE TRAFFIC HEADACHES FOR YEARS
They’ve chosen one of the most isolated parts of the waterfront with poor road links to downtown and elsewhere. The location is hard to access and according to the city’s study, the developer would have to build new off-ramps and roads to accommodate it. They will need to remove an off-ramp from I-264 East. They will need to do all kinds of complicated stormwater and environmental remediation. It’s a very bad location for a casino and we can expect snarled streets and construction, especially in the St. Paul’s area, for years.
MAJOR ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS AND IMPACT
Building a casino on the proposed site, which is an EPA-designated “Brownfields” contaminated site, right on the water, could seriously harm the environment. According to the area development plan, an enormous capital expenditure will be required before the site would be able to receive regulatory sign-off for environmental compliance, a fact which was completely glossed over by the city council in its push to get the casino approved. Major infrastructure improvements are necessary due to flooding and other environmental concerns, including a living shoreline and a seawall that extends to downtown. One gap in the system will cause flood mitigation to fail.
The site under consideration is a Brownfield, formerly a rail yard before it was encapsulated and paved over to prevent contaminants from seeping into the delicate ecosystem of the Chesapeake Bay. Developing a Casino there would break the encapsulation and potentially release harmful contaminants from the soil into the Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay.
The people of Norfolk should not support this given the environmental risks involved. Local environmental groups have, and will continue to, speak out against it.