Sen. not fine about Sears Point

Jul 1, 2003 5:08 AM

Dianne Feinstein has become a major obstacle in a planned Indian gambling resort near Sears Point.

The California senator joined forces last week with opponents of the Sears Point project, according to a Santa Rosa Press Democrat report. Feinstein backs a bill sponsored by two California state representatives that would subject the Graton Rancheria tribe’s proposed casino to "rigorous environmental review and community input."

"This legislation guarantees that local and state officials have a voice in the process," Feinstein said. "Without this change, they do not have an adequate voice."

Jacob Coin, a member of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, said the bill could set a precedent and allow federal regulators to impose tighter restrictions on Indian gaming.

The Sears Point area project involved a $24 million investment to buy 2,000 acres and develop a "world class" casino along with building a 200-room hotel. Station Casinos of Nevada, the tribe’s partner, has bought 321 acres at the site.