Pot of Gold wins city OK to go forward|[12/6/05]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Pot of Gold developers were back with more site changes Monday, enough to win 2-1 approval by the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen to keep going on their plans for a casino and hotel.

Although it was Mayor Laurence Leyens who earlier said he was hesitant to OK what would be the fifth or sixth gaming complex to open in the city, it was South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman who voted nay.

&#8220I have had a lot of phone calls about this, and I still have a lot of personal problems with it,” Beauman said. &#8220It’s not good planning. Everything is contingent on something else. What bothers me is what if things get a little tight and you come back and want a variance after you’ve been approved.”

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Monday’s hearing was an appeal of a 3-2 OK by the Vicksburg Board of Zoning Appeals by Warrenton Road residents whose homes overlook the site.

The residents who attended indicated needed changes had been made for the project, which will be on a shelf of land above the Mississippi River and immediately north of the Rainbow complex.

&#8220This does look better,” said Dr. Lee Giffin, a physician who owns a home on Warrenton. He said he would like more time to look over the new plans.

John Barrett, a developer of Rainbow and former operator of a refinery also on Warrenton Road, said working with the area’s residents resulted in the design changes.

&#8220We’ve done them to accommodate the wishes of our neighbors,” Barrett said.

Paramount among them is a plan to develop a multilevel parking area closer to what will be Magnolia Hill Resort and Pot of Gold Casino. That will eliminate parking lots extending north on the tract and immediately in the view of homeowners.

Other changes include: