Locals worried over casino development

The announcement of a major casino development next to B.C. Place has some area residents concerned about noise and traffic.

The announcement of a major casino development next to B.C. Place has some area residents concerned about noise and traffic.

The B.C. government said the 680,000-square-foot entertainment complex, which is to include two hotels, will create thousands of jobs and bring in $130 million per year.

Area resident Paul Powsett said the development shouldn’t be a priority for the area.

“In this neighbourhood you need to have functional shops,” he said. “You need to have a supermarket and things you can live with, but you don’t need a massive great big hotel and a casino. People need to have facilities that are useful to them.”

Gillian Howden agreed.

“It’s one thing to have a somewhat small casino beside us right now (Edgewater), but it’s another thing to have a giant vacation destination,” said Howden. “It’ll bring increased traffic and right now it’s a fairly quiet neighbourhood, and it’ll take away from the neighbourhood feel.”

Doug McArthur, professor of public policy at Simon Fraser University, said downtown development is usually a good thing, but in this case there’s too much “development pressure.”

“It just feels like a mad rush for the big bucks,” said McArthur. “The government’s in a financial crisis, they’re looking for dollars and they’re looking for ways of getting more construction going.”

Ali Delvarani, who used to live in the area, said living downtown is all about the bustle.

“If you live in downtown and you want peace and quiet, you’re stupid, you’re really stupid.”

 
 
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