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Jamul Indian Village sues Caltrans for blocking casino

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November 25, 2008

SAN DIEGO, CA - The Jamul Indian Village, which plans to build a casino on their reservation 25 minutes east of downtown San Diego, has filed a complaint in the U.S. Southern District Court against the California Department of Transportation for restricting access to the casino site.

The complaint alleges Caltrans has imposed state laws on sovereign reservation land by requiring a permit application, environmental studies and detailed construction plans to be cleared by the department.

Caltrans says these are not "special requirement for the tribe but is the method the department uses for all development, public or private, that has impacts on the state highway system."

The proposed entrance to the casino lies on treacherous segment of California State Highway
94 and has blind spots in both directions. It will require Caltrans to install stoplights and turn lanes to meet safety requirments.

The tribe believes Caltrans is reacting to pressure from non-Native residents to block the casino.

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