Boomtown's Expansion Plans Put on Hold

Boomtown Casino's expansion plans have been put on hold for now. On Tuesday, the Biloxi City Council tabled a request to change zoning from single residential and general business to waterfront, which would allow casino gaming.

Boomtown leaders want to turn part of this property South of Bayview Avenue into a parking lot that will hold 350 vehicles, and an area of green space. But those plans will have to be put on hold temporarily because the Biloxi city council tabled a decision on a zoning change that would allow the casino's expansion.

"I really want to find out more about what's going to happen to this area," said Ward 2 Councilman Bill Stallworth.

Stallworth expressed his concerns about increased traffic the expansion would bring and how it would affect residents in the area.

"The city is proposing to widen Bayview Avenue to allow for more traffic. The city's own long term development plan foresees and projects waterfront zoning, including everything we just asked for," said Mike Cavanaugh,  Boomtown's attorney.

Cavanaugh says he's surprised at the council's decision.

"The city of Biloxi has rezoned parcels to waterfront and B-3 for that matter, with no master plan, no development plan whatsoever, within the last six months, the last nine months, so we're surprised that now all of sudden there's apparently a new standard that applies only to Boomtown."

But Stallworth, and other councilmen, want to see a master plan for Boomtown's expansion before they vote on the zoning issue.

Cavanaugh says work is underway on that plan, but he's not sure when it will be complete. The council is set to take up the zoning change again at its next meeting in two weeks.

Since Hurricane Katrina, Boomtown has acquired 23 acres of land near its Back Bay site.