Re: "No dice for casino," the Now, Jan. 22.
We feel compelled to clarify the development history of the South Surrey entertainment complex in light of comments that have been reported in the media following Surrey city council's recent decision on the South Surrey gaming application:
? In 2009, the City of Surrey received two separate rezoning and development applications for full-service casino and entertainment complexes, one in South Surrey and another in North Surrey.
Neither application had the support of BCLC and no gaming application was put forth to the city in respect of either application.
? At a Surrey city council meeting on Jan. 10, 2010, council referred the North Surrey proposal back to staff while giving the go ahead for the South Surrey project to proceed to public hearing. The North Surrey proposal was effectively stopped at this time.
? A public hearing for the South Surrey proposal was held before Surrey city council on the rezoning on Jan. 25, 2010, and Surrey city council subsequently approved third reading for the rezoning, which contemplated entertainment uses, including a gaming facility.
A very significant land use hurdle to the location of a gaming facility at this site was therefore cleared at this time.
? As a result of its own market review, Gateway bought the South Surrey property in early 2012 , and following discussions with and input from BCLC and the city, refined the original developer's proposal.
The project received the support of BCLC, and a formal gaming application pursuant to gaming control legislation was submitted to the city in October 2012 to relocate our Newton facility to South Surrey.
The development history of the South Surrey project was well reported in the local press, and is a matter of public record.
The public information process that began last fall, and which culminated in the "public information meeting in the form of a public hearing" before Surrey city council in January was governed by gaming control legislation, which requires the city to obtain adequate community input prior to approving a gaming facility.
This process is separate and apart from rezoning matters, which are governed under separate local government legislation.
James Chen, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd.