Planning Commission Approves One, Tables Another

  • 2022-10-21, 05:52 AM
  • Jo Petteruti
Planning Commission Approves One, Tables Another Jo Petteruti Planned location for the Bourbon Street Casino and Sports Bar at 2254 Reno Hwy.

The agenda was long for the last Planning Commission meeting on October 12, with 11 applications planned for review and discussion that included a new casino proposal and the possible revocation of the Omaha Track Special Use Permit previously issued on July 13, 2022. The meeting started on time at 7 p.m. and didn't adjourn until almost 11:30 p.m.

A new Bourbon Street Casino and Sports Bar was approved for 2254 Reno Highway on the vacant land between Fallon Physical Therapy and the series of office buildings located to the west. The commission had a few questions for Nitin Bhakta of Summit Engineering of Reno who attended to represent the applicant, Fallon 50 LLC's Special Use Permit application. Bhakta told the commission that the owners had no objections to the guidelines and conditions recommended for their SUP request. Bhakta estimated that it would take them eight months to one year to construct the facility which will contain a new casino, a bar/drinking establishment, and an eating establishment similar to a snack bar. The business is planned to operate 24 hours per day. The application described the building's interior and exterior as being divided into three spaces to create the feel of three separate casinos. It stated, “The Bourbon Street Sports Bar will be the most prominent as a Mardi Gras-themed sports bar. The La Villita section will have a festive Mexican atmosphere, and U1 will be a less defined atmosphere with specialty gaming machines. The application proposes 135 gaming positions with most being slots or similar machines, rather than table games. Aside from the building, landscaping, and other required features, the rest of the site is devoted to 102 parking spaces, far more than required.”

The review and approval of the new casino took about 13 minutes, and many other agenda items moved even more quickly.

The review of Omaha Track's SUP took up almost 3.5 hours. The review began early in the meeting but was tabled until the end of the meeting due to additional research needed on the official issue date of the recent SUP and other questions. The discussion resumed and continued for over 3 hours only to be tabled again.

Omaha Track's current SUP came under review for possible revocation during an investigation by the County Public Works Department which found that multiple conditions of the SUP were being violated. Those conditions included having no more than 150,000 railroad ties on Omaha Track's Hazen site at any one time, ensuring that the stacks of rail ties or scrap piles did not exceed a height of 10 feet, and making all improvements recommended by the County Fire Marshall. Omaha Track received its first 3-year SUP to operate a rail yard at the Hazen site in July 2019 but was almost shut down a couple of months later due to similar violations. The company felt that they complied with the current permit and stated that the issuance of the SUP was done after the fire that occurred at the site on September 8. However, the commission pointed out that the fees to issue the SUP were not paid until the day after the fire even though it was approved at the Planning Commission's July meeting. James Soulia, Omaha's Director of Operations, and Chris Spross, Planning Department Director were sworn in for their testimony at the behest of the Omaha Track's attorney. County officials and others in attendance also testified for or against the permit.

The Fallon Post story about Omaha Track's 2019 permit can be found at:,omaha-track-nearly-off-the-rails.

Stories on The Fallon Post about the Hazen rail yard fire in September can be found at,fire-in-hazen-at-the-omaha-track-facility and,hazen-fire-is-under-investigation


Jo Petteruti



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