The Philadelphia City Planning Commission will gather public comment on the six proposals for Philadelphia's second casino license during three open-house sessions next week.
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger called them “listening meetings” during Tuesday's meeting of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, which he chairs. “This is the first step in hearing what people are thinking,” told planning commissioners Tuesday.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is expected to award a license to one of the six contenders late this year, Greenberger said. After that, the chosen applicant will bring the winning proposal to the planning commission, as part of the process of changing the zoning on the selected site from whatever it is now to SP-ENT, or Special Purpose Entertainment District, the only city zone that allows for casinos.
The city has “a good working relationship with the gaming control board,” Greenberger said. The city will be providing input to the license awarding process, and next week's meetings are part of the city's information gathering, he said.
These first city listening meetings will likely not be the last ones, Greenberger said. “I think there will be more as these (casino proposals) evolve and are modified.”
The three sessions:
Tuesday, March 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field, 1020 Pattison Avenue. Use the 11th Street entrance.
Wednesday, March 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street.
Thursday, March 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Painted Bride Art Center, 230 Vine Street.
In addition to these in-person sections, which Greenberger will open with remarks on the casino licensing process, the PCPC will also conduct an online survey from March 25 through April 5. For more information, visit www.phila.gov/cityplanning.
The gaming control board is also soon holding casino hearings. These will be held in Room 114 of the Pennsylvania Convention Center from 9 am to 9 p.m. On April 11 and from 9 am to 3 p.m. On April 12; and on May 8 at Lincoln Financial Field in the West Club Level from 9 am to 5 p.m. To register to comment: http://gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov/?p=225
To learn more about the applicants and their proposals, visit this section of the gaming control board's website here.
Kellie Patrick Gates writes about planning, neighborhood development and the Central Delaware Waterfront. A journalist for more than two decades, she worked for daily newspapers in Central Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and South Florida before coming to Philadelphia in 2003 to write for the Inquirer. Her work has appeared on PlanPhilly since 2007, and she also writes Love, the Inquirer's weekly wedding column. A native of Elk County, Pa., Kellie lives with her husband, Gary, and their dog and two cats.