The Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission recently met to discuss zoning petitions that will cater to the Golden Nugget Danville Casino. Which, if construction stays on track, should open in March 2023.
Danville’s zoning administrator/community development administrator Logan Cronk made the petitions.
His goal is to receive approval for a text amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance. Specifically, as it concerns definitions and additions to multiple uses.
Cronk foresees the Illinois General Assembly (IGA) continuing to loosen its gaming laws in the Land of Lincoln. His mission is for Danville and the Golden Nugget to be ready when that time comes.
Illinois casinos are on a bit of a growth spurt. Talks about zoning insinuate there’s much more growth coming.
Text amendments in motion for business and industrial zones
‘Casino’ was just added to the Danville city zoning ordinance’s dictionary, and it’ll be defined as:
“A facility with a main floor level of at least 10,000 contiguous square feet that is authorized by the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) to conduct gambling games pursuant to the Illinois Gaming Act.”
The word casino will also join the list of words regarding the table of zoning district uses. Specifically in B-3 business zoning and I-2 industrial zoning districts.
Danville looking ahead to an expansion of gambling options
Cronk is focused on Danville being prepared for the possible passing of new Illinois gaming legislation. And he wants the city to be ready to implement new IGB rulings as soon as possible.
Aiding Cronk in this endeavor is corp. counsel James Simon. The pair recently sent a memo to the zoning commission:
“The city would like to be in a position to respond quickly if and when the Illinois Gaming Board approves other forms of gaming within the State of Illinois.
Such other forms might include greater or an unlimited number of video gambling terminals, expanded off-track betting parlors (OTB), expanded college and professional sports wagering, and/or a combination of these and other possible forms of gambling.”
In the memo, Cronk and Simon also made note of the potential impact text amendments could have on certain Danville zoning districts. For example, limitations on how owners can legally use their property could hurt property value.
Currently, 33 properties in Danville combine to house a total of 180 video gaming terminals. Cronk and Simon’s vision also includes allowing gaming activity in the B-3 (business zone) and I-2 (industrial zone).
The duo cited the vacant properties in each zone that could one day be gaming establishments.
A recent vote by the Danville City Council officially addresses possible future gambling expansions and allows more locations. By a 13-0 vote, the council approved a text amendment to the city’s zoning ordinance for definitions of use.
How will gambling expansion in Danville impact the community?
Danville city staff spoke with Joliet planning staff to learn about the impact Harrah’s Joliet Casino had on the area. Initially, the neighborhood had low property value.
However, Danville officials learned the casino was a positive investment. Property value in the area rose significantly, thanks to Harrah’s opening.
Additionally, Hollywood Casino and Hotel Joliet are located in an industrial part of the city. And they had no negative impact on local businesses.
Based on the success Joliet has experienced, Cronk and Simon believe this sets a precedent. One showing a casino entering a business or industrial zone won’t harm the existing community.
What can gamblers expect at the Danville Golden Nugget Casino?
A groundbreaking ceremony took place in April to signify the start of construction for the Danville Golden Nugget Casino.
Despite being over budget, the casino timeline is set with an opening date of March 2023. Here’s what casino visitors can expect once it opens:
- 41,500-square-foot gaming floor
- 500 slot machines
- 14 table games
- Golden Nugget Sportsbook
- Two restaurants
The new central Illinois gaming facility will create an estimated 300 jobs for operation.