Lytton Band acquires property adjacent to off-reservation casino

A view of the San Pablo Lytton Casino in California. Photo from Adobe Associates Inc

The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians has acquired a property adjacent to its off-reservation casino in California, The Contra Costa Times reports.

The 1.7-acre site will be used as parking for the San Pablo Lytton Casino, a Class II facility, the administrator of the former Moose Lodge No. 550 told the paper. The tribe otherwise did not comment about the purchase.

The tribe previously paid $4.6 million to use another adjacent property as parking. That deal runs for 20 years, The Marin Independent Journal reported in February 2015.

The casino itself sits on about 10 acres. The land was placed in trust by Congress in 2000 and the tribe has faced opposition to efforts to expand the facility beyond the original footprint.

The tribe, meanwhile, continues to face criticism over its land-into-trust efforts in nearby Sonoma County. Residents and officials in the town of Windsor, about 60 miles north of San Pablo, are upset by plans to use 511 acres for housing and other economic development projects

A view of the Lytton Rancheria's land-into-trust site in Sonoma County, California. Photo from Lytton Residential Development Environmental Assessment

The tribe signed an agreement with Sonoma County to address various issues and, separately, offered to build an aquatic center in Windsor in order to gain support for the extension of sewer and water services to the 511-acre site. But the tribe might build its own system The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reported.

“I suspect doing it ourselves is cheaper,” attorney Larry Stidham, who acts as a spokesperson for the tribe, told the paper.

The tribe already started preliminary work on the site although the land is not officially in trust, the paper said. The cost of the housing project was reported to be $180 million.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has issued an environmental assessment in favor of the acquisition but a final decision apparently hasn't been made.

H.R.2538, the Lytton Rancheria Homelands Act, places the land in trust and imposes gaming prohibitions at the site. It also imposes gaming prohibitions on certain lands that the tribe might acquire in the future.

The House Natural Resources Committee approved the bill last month but it has not come up for consideration on the House floor. Opponents in Windsor are bothered by the tribe's influence on Capitol Hill.

“We think this is an example of the Lyttons trying to buy their way through Congress,” Eric Wee, the co-director of an advocacy group called Citizens for Windsor, told McClatchy DC. “They’re throwing a lot of money around.”

Get the Story:
Lytton casino buys adjacent Moose Lodge property (The Contra Costa Times 3/12)
California tribe plays political angles in bid for land bill (McClatchy DC 3/11)
Lytton Pomos shelve ballot measure, fueling concerns over development plans (The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat 3/11)

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