The county contends the casino will require more law enforcement in the vicinity and that the casino’s development and operation will degrade the environment, according to the resolution. The resolution instructs the Public Works, Public Health and Environmental Services departments to talk about the construction of roads and sewage systems that impact the aquifer. It also advises the sheriff and prosecuting attorney to discuss public safety issues with the Cowlitz.
The city’s 2007 resolution directed the city attorney to “explore all legal options to enjoin the location of the casino in Clark County.” As a result, the city joined in a lawsuit by the county, operators of La Center’s cardrooms and a group called Citizens Against Reservation Shopping that challenged the U.S. Department of the Interior’s approval of the Cowlitz Indian Reservation. When the plaintiffs lost that suit in U.S. District Court, they appealed to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral arguments in the appeal were heard March 18, and a ruling is expected in mid-summer.
The city’s new draft resolution says Vancouver would no longer participate in the appeal because the city council believes doing so may impede talks with the tribe that could benefit the Southwest Washington community.