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Legal Experts State Elk Grove Casino is Far From Being Finalized
- February 20, 2017 By Samantha A. -
The Indian Casino that will be located in Elk Grove proposal still has many legal hurdles that need to be cleared, despite the assurance from the Wilton Rancheria tribe that this 400 million dollar project is moving forward efficiently.
Raymond Hitchcock the Wilton Rancheria tribal chairman stated this past week that the government confirmed that it will take the 36 acre property that the tribe just purchased into trust, a process in which was in fact delayed by the presidential transition. But, whether or not the tribe can actually construct a casino on this sovereign tribal ground remains to be the question.
The issue remains to be a development agreement that covers these 36 acres that the tribe purchased from the Dallas based Howard Hughes Corporation. The agreement that was made between the Hughes Corporation and Elk Grove was for an outlet mall to be constructed on a 100 acre parcel of land that is located at the city’s southern end right off Highway 99.
The Wilton Rancheria tribe as well as city officials insist that once the federal government takes over the land, state and local laws will no longer apply. They argue that the federal jurisdiction means that the development agreement also no longer applies.
Legal experts are stating that the city or outside party could be sued in order to block the casino development, based on the pre-existing development agreement. The contract does not allow for the construction of a casino within the area that is zoned out to be retailed zoned.
The Wilton Rancheria tribe faces the next round as it begins the negotiations with Jerry Brown who is the Governor on the gaming impact. This contract also must be ratified by the state legislature.