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Arkansas casino plan denied

12 October 2006

ARKANSAS – As reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette: "The Fort Smith Planning Commission has denied the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma's request to rezone land it owns in Arkansas for a casino parking lot and RV park.

"City Senior Planner Garry Cathcart said the commission denied requests Tuesday for the rezoning from Open-1 to Industrial-1, which allows for light industrial uses, and for a conditional use permit for the recreational vehicle park.

"The requests were denied, Cathcart said, because the Choctaw Nation didn't follow the commission's requirement that the nation meet with a neighboring homeowner.

"…The parking lot, which already is under construction, borders three sides of property owned by Nathan and Melanie Bradshaw. The commission told the nation to meet with the Bradshaws to resolve their concerns about the effects the 500-vehicle lot would have on their family.

"…A plan submitted to the commission by the Choctaw Nation showed a screening fence would be erected and trees planted around the Bradshaws' property to block the car lights and that the parking lot lighting would be placed so it would not shine on the Bradshaw property.

"The Choctaw Nation has 10 days to appeal the commission's decision to the Fort Smith Board of Directors, Cathcart said. If the directors uphold the ruling, the nation would have to wait a year before it could reapply for the zone change…"

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