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New I-80 casino site faces roadblocks

A developer has chosen a site for Davenport’s new casino, but Monday, Mayor Bill Gluba said the casino could still face some major roadblocks moving forward.

Kehl Development has nearly 100 acres under option for the casino, just south of Interstate 80 and east of Eastern Avenue.

“It’d be a good place, people could kind of stop and have fun on the way on their trips,” said Quad City resident Jan Garcia. “I’m all for anything that will help the economy, give people jobs.”

The casino and its potential 400 jobs, though, is still far from reality.

“It’s far from a done deal. It’s not even close,” said Gluba. “The proximity is too close, in my judgment, to a lot of expensive, half-million and million-dollar homes in our Prairie Heights addition,” he explained.

Last week, neighbors expressed similar concerns to News Eight. Some residents even said they would consider moving if a casino was built nearby.

Another potential setback is the land’s zoning, which is currently agricultural. To have the site rezoned, Kehl would have to go to the city’s zoning board, have his request reviewed, and depending on the vote, the case would then be sent to the City Council.

“My guess is that this current proposed site is probably going to be unacceptable to a majority of the City Council and probably to the zoning board,” said Gluba.

A meeting between Kehl and the City Council is scheduled for next Monday, August 5, during a council work session. The city must still approve a development agreement with Kehl’s firm.

Kehl is hopeful that construction could start in late 2014, and that the new casino could open in 2016.

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