Monday, October 31, 2005

City of Dixon Planners, Council to digest report on environmental review of Dixon Downs

Article Launched: 10/31/2005 06:14:51 AM

Planners, Council to digest report

By David Henson/Staff Writer

The city of Dixon will hold back-to-back workshops this week to help residents and city leaders digest an extensive environmental review of Dixon Downs, a controversial proposed horse racing complex.

The joint planning commission and city council meetings will be held Wednesday and Thursday, each beginning at 7 p.m.

Ontario, Canada-based Magna Entertainment Corp. wants to build a racetrack, regional mall and office space on 260 acres just southwest of the intersection of Interstate 80 and Pedrick Road.

The project has stirred off-and-on controversy in the city since Magna's first overtures five years ago. Most recently, the City Council rebuffed calls for a special election.

This week's meetings aren't meant to turn into a forum on the merits of the project, city officials said.

Instead, it is a chance to clarify, probe and pose questions about the project's environmental impact report. The lead EIR consultant, Brian Boxer, will be on hand to field questions.

The first meeting is intended primarily for questions from planning commissioners and city council members. If time permits, up to 10 p.m., then residents will be allowed to participate.

The follow-up meeting will be primarily for the public's questions. Those wishing to speak will have to turn in a speaker card.

The meetings are a lead-up to the Nov. 30 conclusion of the public comment period on the draft EIR. At that time, planning commissioners are set to discuss Magna's project.

David Henson can be reached at

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