Tribe Says State Can’t Block Casino

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – The Jamul Indian Village claims California violated its sovereignty and blocked construction of a casino by enforcing state environmental and land-use laws on the 6-acre Jamul Reservation.

     The tribe says it voluntarily shared its casino construction plans with the state, including environmental impact analysis and traffic flow studies, but the California Department of Transportation demanded that the tribe comply with the California Environmental Quality Act by filing more proof of its environmental analysis.
Caltrans refused to let the tribe start work on its water main before filing the additional documentation, according to the complaint. The tribe says CalTrans singled it out for enforcement to try to control the tribe’s use of the reservation.
     The tribe says that when it complained about alleged interference in tribal affairs, CalTrans threatened to block access to the reservation from State Route 94.
     The tribe says it has enacted its own environmental and land-use laws. And it says that the two paved driveways that connect the reservation to State Route 94, being Bureau of Indian Affairs roads, are exempt from local permit requirements.
     The tribe is represented by Kent Schmidt with Dorsey & Whitney.

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