By Miriam Raftery
December 5, 2022 (Jamul) – The Jamul Dulzura Community Planning Group (JDCPG) held two public hearings on the Jamul Casino Hotel and Event Center project planned by Jamul Indian Village (JIV). On November 19, the planning group chair Preston Brown sent a letter to JIV Chairwoman Erica Pinto stating that the tribal environmental impact report (TEIR) was “extraordinarily incomplete and premature for a project of this magnitude.” The planning group recommended the No Project Alternative.
The hotel would be 16 stories with floor-to-ceiling glass; the project would also include an indoor-outdoor event center and additional parking, but no new gaming.
ECM reached out to Chairwoman Pinto to request an interview. She initially agreed, but cancelled due to a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on other matters. ECM sent written questions and requested a new interview date, but no response has yet been received. The Jamul Casino employees approximately 1,000 people and has provided economic security for the Jamul Indian Village of California's tribal members, many of whom lived in poverty in the past. The new project, if built, would significantly expand employment opportunities in the area as well as economic growth for the tribe.
County planner Scott Christman has said the project does not need approval of county Supervisors or the Governor, and the tribe has previously indicated it hoped to begin construction this month. However the the JDCPG contends that since the casino was built based on certain conditions and legal requirements being met, some of which have not been completed, the project thus does need approval/cooperation/participation of both Supervisors and the Governor.