Emerald Star Casino gets exemption for waterfront work

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 31, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; It took less than 15 minutes for the Zoning Board of Adjustment to grant the Emerald Star Casino a special exemption to build in a waterfront development district Tuesday night.

The only question asked at the meeting was regarding vehicular access to the casino. Emerald Star representatives responded that there would be one tunnel with four lanes under the existing railroad track.

Board members said they have not received any letter for or against the development, and no one commented on either side at the meeting.

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Chairman Ed Godfrey said the plan was &uot;very impressive.&uot;

The next step for developer Charles Cato is to receive approval from the Planning Commission and obtain building permits from the city. Cato has already purchased 21 acres of riverfront land to build the casino.

Plans include 87,000 square feet for the casino with 35,000 square feet of gaming space, 800 slot machines and 30 table games.

Cato, who still needs approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission, has said he wants to start construction in late April or early May and open the casino by November.