Choctaw casino won't fall under county zoning laws

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians will have sole jurisdiction over its proposed off-reservation casino, Miko Beasley Denson said in a letter to officials in Jackson County.

As part of its $375 million resort, the tribe plans to build a 20-story hotel. That exceeds county zoning lawsuits, which limit buildings to 50 feet in height.

"Once the land is acquired in trust, the tribe would have jurisdiction to determine land use, and the local zoning ordinances would not apply," Denson wrote in the letter, The Mississippi Press reported.

The tribe owns about 100 acres in the county. A 40-acre parcel is apparently already in trust but can't be used for gaming purposes without federal or state approval. The remaining acreage is not in trust.

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Chief claims zoning ordinances wouldn't affect proposed casino (The Mississippi Press 10/5)