Rezoning for Edgewater Casino move approved by Vancouver city council

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      Vancouver city council finalized a rezoning today (November 29) that would allow for the relocation of Edgewater Casino to a site next to B.C. Place.

      Councillors voted to approve an exchange of commercial and residential land that will allow PavCo and Paragon Gaming to proceed with development of a proposed hotel and entertainment complex adjacent to the stadium.

      However, in giving its final approval to the rezoning, Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vision Vancouver councillors reiterated their election pledge not to allow expansion of gambling in the city for the next three years.

      “We just came through an election where the majority of councillors, myself included as well, were very clear that we were not in support of any further expansion of gambling for this next term,” said Robertson. “I think it’s as clear as it possibly could be, there will be no expansion of gambling under my watch in this chair.”

      Council also reaffirmed its decision from last April to reject any expansion of the current number of slot machines and gaming tables at Edgewater Casino.

      But during council's discussion of the rezoning, outgoing COPE councillor Ellen Woodsworth raised questions about the potential for the applicant to come forward at a later date with a proposal for an expanded casino.

      “I’m very concerned that we’re leaving open the opportunity for the applicant to come before council for a further expansion,” said Woodsworth, who was the only councillor to vote against the bylaw.

      Vancouver Not Vegas co-founder Sandy Garossino told reporters after the meeting she's concerned that if the size of the casino complex as originally proposed goes ahead, the applicant could come forward after the next council term requesting an expansion of slot machines and gaming tables.

      “What has been approved by this council is the construction of a mega-casino shell,” she argued.

      “What they’ve shut the door on is the number of slot machines that for now will be put in there. So we’re saying shut the door today. Keep that facility at its size… there’s no reason to approve a massive casino.”

      Vancouver Not Vegas issued a statement Monday (November 29) calling for a public hearing on the design for the relocated casino.

      Lindsay Brown, the other founder of Vancouver Not Vegas, filed a petition in the B.C. Supreme Court earlier this month to challenge council’s approval of the casino relocation.

      David McLellan, the city’s general manager of community services, noted that before a relocation of the casino occurs, PavCo will have to go through a development permit application process.

      The city hasn’t yet received a revised design for the project following council’s vote in April to reject an expansion of Edgewater Casino, but to allow its relocation to a proposed entertainment complex next to B.C. Place. At that time, council also implemented a moratorium on any expanded gambling in Vancouver until the B.C. Lottery Corporation conducts a “comprehensive public consultation” on the issue, and other conditions are met.

      “We don’t have any sort of details with regards to the design in the form of a development permit at this stage,” McLellan told council. “I understand that they have continuing negotiations with Paragon as to how a relocation might be accomplished.”

      McLellan noted that the development permit process will include opportunities for public input on the design of the facility.

      A spokeswoman for Paragon Gaming said in a statement that today’s action by city council allows the company,which owns Edgewater Casino, to “move forward”.

      “We remain committed to finding a new site for our facility and 600 employees in advance of the expiry of the lease on our current site in 2013,” said Tamara Hicks.

      “Our next step and focus will be to work with the City as we explore and review all our options. We are dedicated to working cooperatively and collaboratively with our community and will share our proposed plans once our review is complete.”

      Today’s meeting marked the last of the current term. The new council term will begin with an inauguration ceremony on December 5.



      Rock Over Vancouver. Rock Over London.

      Nov 29, 2011 at 8:04pm

      The NPA never ran a better mayor.


      Nov 29, 2011 at 8:36pm

      The ink barely dry on the last election and Vision gets down to their real job: facilitating the development, hotel, gambling, real estate industry. Oh yeah, and advocating for chicken coops and other (pale) "green" items just so you don't have to contemplate what your vote really meant. Pathetic.


      Nov 29, 2011 at 10:08pm

      I love a Casino and do not care what this election loser thinks!


      Nov 29, 2011 at 10:48pm

      Nice flip-flop, Gregor. Not that I care much, it'll be a cold day in Hell before I set foot in your benighted stadium or any of your casinos.

      Taxpayers R Us

      Nov 29, 2011 at 11:23pm

      Vancouver voted for more of the same BS, and Visionless Vancouver is delivering.


      Nov 29, 2011 at 11:51pm

      You suck and after promising as long as you where mayor this wouldn't happen and it was one of the reasons you got my vote.
      Shame on me for thinking you where different and actually meant what you said.

      Joseph Jones

      Nov 30, 2011 at 12:02am

      Pondering Robertson words.

      If x = "for this next term” and y = "under my watch in this chair” then does x = y ? Or: after x, then comes gambling expansion?

      Q: When is a chair not a chair? A: When it satisfies the conditions for table provided in the bylaw that restricts Structures on Streets for Political Expression.

      Q: Is there any possibility that this watch implies a watchmaker?


      Nov 30, 2011 at 8:58am

      Bad, bad, bad idea Gregor.


      Nov 30, 2011 at 9:28am

      Why is the city ruining the plaza of nations? The current location is the best location for a casino and hotels. It has good 1980's architecture. The plaza was a good plaza was a good place for concerts and then they removed the glass roof. The city always allows the distruction of heritage. Vancouver is a boring city.