Sunday, November 04, 2007

Philadelphia Neighborhood Alliance (PNA) Responds to Fumo's Lawsuit

From: Rosanne Loesch []



Contact: Rene Goodwin (215) 271-5872
Rosanne Loesch (267) 467-7898
Debbie King (215) 266-0569

November 4, 2007

The Philadelphia Neighborhood Alliance (PNA) supports Senator Fumo's legal filing in the most recent SugarHouse lawsuit filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The PNA agrees with the Senator’s assessment that SugarHouse's suit is a “bold and aggressive attempt to circumvent the local zoning process that would be at the expense of the public interest.”

Senator Fumo, who authored the state's gaming law, and whose interpretation is therefore persuasive, explained in his filing that “nothing in the [Gaming Act] permits the usurpation of local zoning control.” Furthermore, SugarHouse must realize, gaming is “a privilege” and not an “inherent right” that overrides the City of Philadelphia and, particularly Philadelphia’s City Council.

In his brief, Fumo states "that the gaming legislation clearly states that the primary purpose of the law is to protect the public from the negative impacts of gaming.” The PNA echoes Senator Fumo’s contention that if SugarHouse believes the zoning and regulatory approval process is too burdensome for the proposed site, it is in the public interest for SugarHouse to resite.

"SugarHouse seeks to bypass the vital interests of the public to preserve the quality of life for tens of thousands of residents in the densely populated neighborhoods near the sites of the proposed casinos," said Debbie King of Northern Liberties.

PNA calls on both Foxwoods and SugarHouse and their investors to end the stalemate and work towards finding new locations more than 1500 feet from homes, schools, playgrounds and houses of worship. PNA maintains casinos can be built elsewhere without the loss of jobs or revenue—a contention that has never been disproved.

PNA asks Senator Fumo to use his political capital to support HB1477 which would require the re-siting of both casinos consistent with the 1500 foot buffer between neighborhoods and casinos.

Note: The Philadelphia Neighborhood Alliance was formerly known as the “Delaware River Neighborhood Alliance.”

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