Location proposal for a Hastings ‘racino’ hits road block

The Hastings' planning commission on Tuesday denied the placement of a horse racetrack and casino. However, the city council still has the final say on whether the new "racino" will be built. 
Documents: Plans Submitted For Casino, Glimpse Inside

HASTINGS, Neb. (KLKN) – The Hastings’ planning commission on Tuesday denied the placement of a horse racetrack and casino. However, the city council still has the final say on whether the new “racino” will be built.

The proposal is proposed to be placed on the north end of the town, near the Walmart.

In order to build it, the area would have had to be rezoned.  It is currently an agriculture zone, and it would have to be changed to a commercial business zone for the casino regulations.  A conditional permit would also have to be granted for the horse racetrack and casino combo.

Tim O’Keefe, a Hastings resident, opposed the placement.

“I think it’s important to our community to curate our development,” O’Keefe said. “This is a proposal that directly affects me because my wife and I are wanting to build a house nearby.  I think it’s perhaps, possibly, a good idea.  I don’t think we really know yet because the numbers are so bogus.  The location is definitely not the right location for our community.”

The majority of attendants to the commission opposed both the rezoning and the conditional permit for the casino.  Supporters of the proposal argued it would bring money to the area and greater support to horse racing.

“In my opinion, this is something the community should be proud of.  It’s a major thoroughfare.  We want the opportunity to present our product, quarter horse racing, to as many people as possible and make it available to them to see.  That’s a great location.  It’s on Highway 281, we want to expose people to it,” said Adams County resident Ed Ziamba.

The Hastings’ city council meets again on Feb. 28.

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