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Developer of proposed Islandia casino revises parking plan

A mini-casino has been proposed for the Islandia

A mini-casino has been proposed for the Islandia Marriott. Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The developer of a proposed Suffolk OTB mini-casino in Islandia has submitted a revised plan intended to alleviate potential traffic problems at the site.

The new plan eliminates a proposal to provide off-site parking for patrons of the casino, which would be added to the Islandia Marriott Long Island hotel, on the north service road of the Long Island Expressway. Casino developers say the hotel parking lot’s 643 spaces are sufficient for casino customers.

Delaware North, the Buffalo entertainment company developing the betting parlor for Suffolk County Regional Off-Track Betting Corp., is seeking a special permit to add the casino to the 278-room hotel.

An earlier plan had suggested that valets might park cars at another site near the hotel. That plan could have increased traffic when the casino is open for business.

“The applicant’s architect . . . has demonstrated that a portion of the existing parking area can be allocated for valet parking,” consultants wrote in a revised environmental assessment released last week. “As such, all parking would be contained onsite and no off-site parking is required.”

The 766-page assessment report is posted on the Village of Islandia website.

Suffolk OTB and Delaware North officials have said the casino would include 1,000 video lottery terminals and a racing simulcast facility. OTB officials have said the casino is key to their efforts to dig the agency out of bankruptcy.

Islandia officials canceled a July 12 vote on the permit after a contentious July 5 public hearing. Opponents of the casino at the hearing said it would bring problems such as traffic, crime and lower property values.

Village officials have not announced a new date for the vote. Mayor Allan M. Dorman and Village Attorney Joseph Prokop did not respond to requests for comment.

The village board is scheduled to hold a work session at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 26. The board typically does not take votes at work sessions, which are held to discuss issues that may come up at future meetings.

Bruce Edwards, a casino opponent and president of the Ronkonkoma Civic Association, said the altered parking plan likely would not affect his opinion of the plan. He said OTB president Phil Nolan has estimated the casino would draw “thousands and thousands to come to the slot machines.”

“I think their traffic studies are probably suspect,” Edwards said.

In a statement, Delaware North spokesman Charles Roberts said: “We respect the village board’s process, which we understand is ongoing. It’s been our pleasure to provide the mayor and trustees with all of the materials that are necessary to enable their careful due diligence.”

OTB officials have declined to comment on the casino plan, citing confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements.


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