Casino rendering

DANVILLE, Va. — In their meeting Tuesday evening, Danville City Council approved the addition of a C-E casino entertainment zoning district by amending Chapter 41 of the Danville City Code to allow for the future Caesars casino at the former Dan River Mills Schoolfield site.

The new district in article 3.V outlines the zoning district purpose, permitted uses, uses permitted by special use permit, lot size requirement, bulk regulations, parking, exterior lighting, signs, noise, landscape and open space and additional requirements. 

Some of the details outlined for the district include a minimum of 75 acres, with the minimum lot area being 25 acres.

The maximum building height is 250 feet, but buildings 200 feet or taller must be set back from any non-building structures that are 200 feet or taller by at least 100 feet. Buildings under 200 feet tall must be set back from those non-building structures by at least 50 feet.

Casino gaming establishments have “unique needs” for lighting, according to the district details. However, it still must not interfere with any public roadways and comply with the code of Virginia. Upwardly directed lighting can be used to illuminate buildings, structures and landscapes, and awnings can be internally illuminated. 

Searchlights must avoid directing a beam at any building, and they cannot operate between midnight and 5 p.m.

For noise, the exterior noise limits cannot exceed 70 dBA between 9 a.m. and 12 a.m., when measured at the property line of a residential zone. 

Landscaped buffers will be used along property lines next to a residential zoning district. 

Caesars officials were present at the meeting, and Robert Livingston, senior vice president, said the company has enjoyed the warm welcome Danville has given them and thanked them for selecting Caesars.

“I understand what a project like this means to the community,” Livingston said. “We’re excited to be a part of it. We’re going to work very hard to make sure that the decision that was made to select Caesars, that you’re going to be proud of that decision.” 

Currently, the company is in the conceptual design phase. Caesars hopes to finish the permitting process in November and break ground in December. 

In addition, council approved the transfer of casino funds for various projects. These funds are from the $15 million one-time payment made by Caesars Entertainment in December and include the previously approved $5 million for a new police headquarters. The resolution passed also included $1.1 million in neighborhood revitalization funds to address blight, $2 million for school renovations, $1.3 million for the George Washington High School track, $200,000 for economic development tourism and $1.3 million for a local match for a grant. 

In other business, council approved the lease of the American Legion Stadium to Danville Baseball LLC. American Legion Stadium will now house the Appalachian League team, the Danville Otterbots, which is supported by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball.

The team will be holding their games in the stadium, and Danville Baseball will be hosting other non-baseball events.

Council also approved the formation of a 501(c)(3) corporation by the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority for the purpose of providing rental and homeownership housing opportunities and youth services.

Staff Writer

Lanie Davis, a Danville native, joined the Star-Tribune in 2018 as a staff writer. Lanie was awarded 1st place in Education Writing by the Virginia Press Association in 2019.

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