Area residents will have two chances next month to weigh in on Colonial Downs Group Inc.’s proposed gaming resort in Dumfries.
At its meeting Wednesday evening, the Dumfries Town Council authorized public hearings on the company’s requests for a rezoning and conditional-use permit. The proposal will go before the Planning Commission on Sept. 13 and Town Council on Sept. 21. Both meetings will be at Town Hall.
Colonial Downs, which runs a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Dumfries, announced in February plans for the $389 million gaming resort. It would include a 50,000-square-foot gaming space, a 250-seat sports bar, eight other bars and restaurants, 7,000 square feet of event space, 200 hotel rooms and a 1,500-seat theater.
The company wants to rezone 93.5 acres at the Potomac Landfill from residential and neighborhood business to planned mixed-use development and obtain a conditional-use permit for the project.
The landfill is at the southeast corner of the Interstate 95 and Va. 234 interchange. In February, the landfill announced it had entered an option agreement to sell 100 acres to Colonial Downs for the project.
A company spokesman has said Colonial Downs plans to finalize the purchase of the landfill in the first quarter of 2022.
Colonial Downs opened its gaming emporium in January, offering slot-like betting on historic horse races.
The proposal for the facility came after the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation last year that allows Colonial Downs to have up to 1,800 historic horse racing machines at its Dumfries location. The Rosie’s site that opened in January has 150 machines.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Ebony Lofton was the only speaker during public comment and raised safety, traffic and environmental concerns. She said she “strongly believes” the proposal is “not a good idea for the community.”
The council did not weigh in on the proposal prior to the vote. After the meeting, Mayor Derrick Wood highlighted the potential for a high-end hotel, jobs and restaurants for the community. He said it would be an opportunity to get rid of the “eyesore” of the landfill and draw business to town.
“My vision for the town has been to make Dumfries a destination place,” Wood added.