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Public hearing on proposed racetrack and casino postponed

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 3:37 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The idea of building a casino and racetrack in Hastings faces some hurdles before it can be built.

To make a casino possible, the Hastings Planning Commission would first need to approve the rezoning of the space north of 42nd Street from Agriculture to Commercial Business.

The racetrack would also require a conditional use permit.

Public hearings regarding a change of zoning and a conditional use permit for the project have been postponed at the request of the applicant, and the items will be removed from the Planning Commission’s upcoming agenda.

Prairie Thunder Hastings, LLC, requested that the hearing be postponed for at least 30 days.

In the initial plans for the commission’s Tuesday meeting, there was a recommendation to deny the rezoning and table the conditional use permit.

After seeing these recommendations, the project applicant decided they wanted to revisit with city officials and the planning commission to look at what they need to do to make this project happen, before any decisions are made.

Hastings Director of Developmental Services Lisa Parnell-Rowe said the location this type of business plays a big role in their decisions.

“Yes, there’s the use of the casino and the racetrack being considered, but it doesn’t mean that, you know somewhere else in Hastings wouldn’t, you know, wouldn’t be a different consideration,” she said to Local4 Friday morning.

The Hastings Development Services staff was recommending against the project in part because of concerns about the existing flood plain in the southeast corner of the property.

They also had concerns that a casino in that area would interfere with existing property near Lochland Country Club.

The City has also received several letters from the public with views about the casino/racetrack project. The common theme of the letters was the project would poorly represent the city’s image. Some said the casino and racetrack would be disruptive, cause foul smells and create water and drainage issues.

For now, the public hearing items will be removed from the Planning Commission’s agenda. All other scheduled agenda items will continue as originally planned.

The Planning Commission’s revised meeting agenda can be found on the City of Hastings website at https://www.cityofhastings.org/planning-commission.html.

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