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Selectmen to discuss gambling on Route 1  

Credit:  By Frank Mortimer, The Foxboro Reporter, www.foxbororeporter.com 6 September 2011 ~~

Residents interested in a move to put Route 1 properties in the running to host a gambling casino may catch an earful tonight.

Town manager Kevin Paicos says Foxboro should consider taking a place at the table among communities vying to host a gambling casino, and the board of selectmen have decided to air the issue.

The agenda for the Board of Selectmen’s Sept. 6 meeting in the Andrew Gala Room at Town Hall lists only one subject for public discussion, “Gaming,” from 7 to 9 p.m.

“I imagine there will be lots and lots of questions about it,” selectman Lorraine Brue said when reached Saturday.

Brue said the purpose of the two-hour public session will be “to discuss putting a warrant article for the special town meeting to look for zoning changes that would permit a casino up in that area.”

With a bill to allow three resort-style casinos and a slot machine parlor in play on Beacon Hill, Paicos in August proposed changing Foxboro’s zoning bylaw to allow such uses in the Route 1 area, on parcels of 50-acres or more, including on what is now land owned by the Kraft Group.

Officials emphasized that the Kraft Group’s ownership in an NFL football team would preclude the Patriots from owning a casino.

Kraft Group attorney John Twohig in August gave the Planning Board a packet of zoning amendments to make way for an up to 500-foot tall wind turbine, a high-tech office facility, a convention center, a roughly 20-story luxury hotel, and a range of related facilities.

One provision in the packet – discussed by Paicos, not Twohig – would modify the definition of “entertainment facilities” in the Route 1 Economic Development Area Overlay District to include a gambling casino.

Selectmen may hold the special town meeting in October, but have yet to nail down the date.

Planning board members said there was too little time for them to review a casino proposal, and decided to let selectmen decide whether to put the issue on the warrant.

Source:  By Frank Mortimer, The Foxboro Reporter, www.foxbororeporter.com 6 September 2011

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