Before all the rumors start, I would like to address some facets and provide everyone with links and comments that would be useful for whatever side of the issue of a casino located on sovereign Indian tribal land located within the city limits of Twentynine Palms.
When it comes to land use decisions, neither the City of Twentynine Palms Planning Commission nor the City Council has little to say in the matter. As noted in the “Tribal Gaming and Community Planning in California” published by the California Planning Roundtable page 5;
“The principles of tribal sovereignty apply to authority over land use regulation. Most land use regulation in California is under the authority of cities and counties, granted by express provisions of state law (e.g. the planning and zoning laws and Subdivision Map Act), or the broad delegation of “police power” to cities and counties. However, city and county (and state) regulation of tribal land use has “long been preempted by extensive Federal policy and legislation,” making tribes exempt from such authority.”
Link to document noted above and some of the quotes that follow: http://www.cproundtable.org/media/uploads/pub_files/TGnCP.bw__.pdf
Where there are Environmental concerns;
“the federal government has the authority to apply federal laws to tribal governments. Under this authority, tribes are subject to certain federal laws that address environmental protection, with the potential for affecting the siting, design, and operation of tribal gaming facilities. The most important federal environmental laws affecting tribal casino development are:
- Environmental, public health, and safety provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
- The National Environmental Policy Act
- The National Historic Preservation Act
- The Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act
- The Clean Air Act
- The Endangered Species Act”
Now you might ask about CEQA, well, it does not apply.
“CEQA requires environmental review of projects undertaken by state and local governments, including private developments that require the discretionary approval of a state or local public agency. However, state laws apply on tribal lands only as provided by Congress, and CEQA is not one of those laws.”
“While tribes are not subject to CEQA, local and state governments extending infrastructure to tribal casinos, or those making other discretionary decisions that support casino development with the potential for affecting the physical environment, may themselves be subject to CEQA. Thus, if a state or local agency approves funding of a particular road project to serve a tribal casino, that decision may be subject to CEQA. The state or local agency must analyze the direct and indirect impacts of building the infrastructure.”
With that being said, there is another website that provides information concerning gambling within California. It is called the California Gambling Control Commission and here is that link. http://www.cgcc.ca.gov/
They oversee a wide verity of gambling aspect including but not limited to Tribal gaming.
“The Commission, pursuant to the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, the Gambling Control Act, the Governor’s Executive Order D-31-01 and Governor’s Executive Order D-66-03, has various fiduciary, regulatory and administrative responsibilities related to Tribal gaming and the distribution of revenues to Non-Compact Indian Tribes.”
As mentioned above there is a Tribal-State Gaming Compact. It was execution date of the contract was October 8th, 1999 with an expiration date of December 31st, 2020 and has never been amended. In that contract they were granted Class III Gaming, with provisions to pay a revenue distribution in the Special Distribution Fund setup by the state. This “fund” was to be used for some of the following;
Grants, including any administrative costs, for programs designed to address gambling addiction; and
Grants, including any administrative costs, for the support of state and local government agencies impacted by tribal government gaming.
There was an Assembly Bill (No. 2515) that made changes to amend Section 12715 of the Government Code concerning local agencies http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_2501-2550/ab_2515_bill_20120928_chaptered.pdf
In that change it appropriate $9,100,000 from the Indian Gaming Special Distribution Fund to the California Gambling Control Commission to provide grants to local agencies for the 2012–13 fiscal year. The law establishes an Indian Gaming Local Community Benefit Committee which would be composed of seven representatives. There would be three elected representatives from cities located within four miles of a tribal casino in the county, selected by the county board of supervisors.
This is just some of the issues that I could address from comments that I have heard in the past. There is more information out there than I could get into. I would be typing a novel if I attempted to cover everything. I encourage all interested parties to do your homework.