Richmond deal with Indian tribe seeking casino in North Richmond is legal, court rules
By Katherine Tam
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 02/25/2010 04:54:54 PM PST
Updated: 02/25/2010 04:54:55 PM PST
A 20-year agreement worth $335 million between Richmond and a tribe proposing a Las Vegas-style casino near the city limits is valid, a state court has ruled.
The state Court of Appeal upheld a municipal services agreement between the city and the Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians, saying the city was not wrong in deferring an environmental review and adding that the city isn't required to perform such an analysis because it's not the regulatory body. Wednesday's 19-page ruling reverses a Contra Costa Superior Court decision that had invalidated the deal.
Scotts Valley is seeking federal approval to turn 30 acres on Parr Boulevard at Richmond Parkway into Indian land, where it wants to build a casino.
The city and tribe signed an agreement in 2006, outlining roadwork, public safety services and political support the city would provide in exchange for annual payments. The city would not receive money unless the casino is built. Parchester Village Neighborhood Council and the Citizens of East Shore Parks argued the city failed to conduct an environmental review first and sued in 2007.
Katherine Tam covers Richmond. Follow her at Twitter.com/katherinetam.