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Proposed Richmond Casino Clears Major Hurdle

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(AP)

(AP)

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RICHMOND (KCBS) – A highly-disputed casino-resort project on the Richmond waterfront has cleared a major hurdle with environmentalists, who had sued to stop the development.

Environmentalists have been in litigation with the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians and the developer of the proposed resort at Point Molate since 2004, but have finally reached an agreement to protect most of the land slated for development.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“We’ve worked carefully with the tribe and developers to protect the native floor, to protect three-quarters of the project as open space in perpetuity,” said Robert Cheasty, president of Citizens for East Shore Parks.

Cheasty said the agreement covers more than 180 of the 273 total acres.

Jim Levine, part of the development group Upstream Point Molate, applauded the agreement and said he is now looking to the future.

“This is a huge opportunity to create an economic engine on a very small environmental footprint,” said Levine. “That economic engine will throw off 17,000 permanent jobs.”

Opponents claim the promises of jobs and economic benefits are exaggerated. Richmond voters will cast ballots on an advisory measure on the casino.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein said in a statement that “the casino plan at Point Molate is wrong for the East Bay shoreline.”

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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