Petitioners have half the signatures required to stall Norfolk casino process


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Petitioners trying to stop or stall plans for a casino in Norfolk say they now have about half of the signatures they need.

10 On Your Side reported two weeks ago that a small group of residents started a petition after city council agreed to tentatively sell land to the Pamunkey Indian Tribe for $10 million.

There are now about 100 volunteers collecting signatures. One of the organizers, Ashley Barnett, said they’ve collected an estimated 2,000 of the 4,000 needed to get a possible referendum on council’s decision.

“We have people canvassing neighborhoods. I’ve gone out with a sign like on the sidewalk and asked people, people are pulling their cars over on the side of the road to sign the petition when I’m out,” she said.

City council has been discussing the casino for a year and a half.

The terms of the deal were just made public last month for the $700 million resort and casino, which will feature thousands of slot machines, a spa, and food and entertainment.

While Barnett is against it, she insists the petition is not to stop it, but rather to slow the process down.

“To so hastily make a decision where the public is not informed, it’s not just unwise, its unfair,” she said.

There are two town hall meetings scheduled with councilwoman Andria McClellan, who was the lone dissenting vote on council.

The first is Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Grandy Village Community Center. Another takes place at Lambert’s Point Rec Center on Tuesday, October 15 at 6 p.m.

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