Council OKs Height of Hotel Reine de Terre Haute Casino | News

Churchill Downs Inc. received approval on Thursday for a 25-foot zoning exemption allowing it to build a 150-foot-tall hotel, as part of its Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort.

The Terre Haute Zoning Appeals Board voted 4-0 to approve the rezoning, with one board member absent.

Prior to the vote, Board Member Jason Saavedra questioned the need for a tall building, as the casino has a 50-acre site, which would allow for the development of a larger structure but lower along Margaret Drive, with less parking area.

Photo submittedChurchill Downs has won zoning approval for a 150ft high hotel as part of its Queen of Terre Haute Casino Resort. The large structure will allow motorists along Interstate 70 to visibly view the site.

“The height, given the location, was our effort to make it visible and attractive to people using the highway [Interstate 70]”said Ryan Jordan, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development for Churchill Downs Inc.

“We want people walking through Terre Haute to see the property, walk in and stop and ultimately benefit everyone, including Terre Haute, so the height of up to 150ft is just to make it more visible,” said said Jordan. from the casino hotel. “We want it to look good and stand out so people will stop by and the height really helps showcase the property.”

The board’s decision included receiving a March 14 letter from Jeff Hauser, executive director of Terre Haute Regional Airport.

Hauser stated that although the hotel/casino project is not located in the arrival or departure airspace areas of the airport, the Federal Aviation Administration recommends that stormwater management systems located within 5 miles of an airport are designed and operated so as not to create airspace above the ground. the water.

“Stormwater retention ponds should be designed, engineered, constructed, and maintained for a maximum retention period of 48 hours … to remain completely dry between storms,” ​​Hauser wrote. The measure aims to control wildlife dangerous to air traffic, such as birds. Additionally, physical barriers such as metal grates or netting can be used “to prevent access of dangerous animals to open waters and minimize aircraft-wildlife interactions,” Hauser wrote.

“If ground conditions and other requirements permit, the FAA encourages the use of underground stormwater infiltration systems because they are less attractive to wildlife,” Hauser wrote.

After the meeting, Jordan said the company had filed a notice of construction proposal with the FAA on February 9 and did not anticipate any issues with the FAA, adding that its approval process could take up to 90 days, but Churchill Downs expects approval. before May 9.

The company also said it expects to receive final approval for its subdivision platform in early April.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or [email protected] Follow on Twitter @TribStarHoward.

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