WatchSonoma Watch
Graton Resort and Casino’s big moment arrives after decade of debate

One of California’s largest casinos opens Tuesday outside Rohnert Park after a decade of bitter debate.

Petaluma leaders seek bulwark against Kastania-area casino

Petaluma city leaders are working to shore up federal opposition to a potential casino on 277 acres south of city limits, land owned by the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians.

Rohnert Park may use eminent domain to widen road near casino

Rohnert Park may use its eminent domain powers to acquire parts of several properties needed to widen Wilfred Avenue to accommodate the huge Indian casino now under construction.

The city in September signed an agreement with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria and the county of Sonoma under which the tribe is to pay the full cost of widening the street.

But officials say neither they nor the tribe have been able to reach agreements with five property owners to buy just under an acre of land still needed for the $10 million widening project from Redwood Drive to Stony Point Road.

Neighbors of Rohnert Park casino want wells monitored

For immediate neighbors of the Indian casino being built on the edge of Rohnert Park, worries about the project’s impacts have been underlined by years of dread that it will drain their wells dry.

Union jobs get boost from Rohnert Park casino construction

Five months after its tribal backers won final federal approval to move ahead, the largest casino resort in the Bay Area is starting to take shape on the northwest edge of Rohnert Park.

Opponents of Rohnert Park casino file lawsuit over road widening plans

Opponents of the Indian casino being built next to Rohnert Park have sued the city over its recent agreement with the tribe to widen Wilfred Avenue. The suit filed Tuesday in Sonoma County Superior Court challenges the city’s conclusion that the project is exempt from state laws requiring environmental studies. Wilfred Avenue is the northern border of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria reservation and provides the main access to the casino resort.

Tribal casino to pay at least $9 million a year to Sonoma County

The tribe building a casino in Rohnert Park has agreed to pay at least $9 million annually to Sonoma County to offset the impacts of the project, plus up to $38 million more a year if its revenues hit projections.
The payments from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, some of which would start this year, are nearly four times what the county previously estimated it would get.
And they are separate from those laid out in a 2003 agreement between the tribe and Rohnert Park, under which the tribe is to pay the city about $200 million over 20 years.
‘Without a doubt, I think it’s the best agreement that’s ever happened between a tribe and a local government,’ said Shirlee Zane, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors. She lauded the tribe for its participation.

Rohnert Park approves $10 million deal to widen Wilfred Avenue

The Rohnert Park City Council acted quickly Tuesday to approve an agreement under which the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria will pay the full cost of widening Wilfred Avenue. ‘We will be moving to expedite this project, it’s in the community’s best interest,’ Mayor Jake Mackenzie said following the 4-0 vote. Vice-Mayor Pam Stafford was absent.

Rohnert Park casino takes on more road cost

The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria will pay the full $10 million cost of widening Wilfred Avenue, the access road to the Rohnert Park casino resort they are now building, under a tentative agreement with the city and county. That would be a shift from an earlier contract between the city and the tribe that required the tribe to fund half the project, a condition of the federal government’s approval of the casino.

Rohnert Park turns 50

As it turns 50, Rohnert Park still outwardly resembles the vision that led to its creation in 1962: A tightly planned suburb of look-alike neighborhoods, each with its own school and small-town amenities of parks, pools and convenient shopping centers. Change is under way in the form of major development projects on the city’s south, east and west edges.

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