Council member raises questions on 8 liner support
Dec 20, 2009
Dec 21, 2009
Thousands of dollars have been seized and hundreds of machines confiscated and still it's easy to get into the 8-liner business in Laredo. That’s according to one City Council member who says he doesn’t understand why City staff continues to support 8-liner businesses who want to open up shop in zones they're simply not supposed to be in. Our Annette Garcia has more details in our top story tonight. A new 8-liner business may be coming to a neighborhood near you if you reside in the Cuatro Vientos subdivision. That’s because City Council will begin discussing whether or not to make a change to the zoning ordinance and authorize a conditional use permit for units 21 and 22 in the 33-hundred block of Chacota. It's been done before and allows for gambling establishments to set up more easily as Mondays' City Council agenda reads. Dr. Michael Landeck, City Council Member “We all have a very serious suspicion that some of these establishments most probably operate in an illegal way.” Back in June City officials said authorizing such permits would help vacant strip centers. “There’s concern about organized crime but that’s why we have law enforcement entities.” Law enforcement would police the rest. Back in June Mayor Salinas stated that perhaps there were too many regulations and business owners needed more opportunities.
Annette Garcia, email@example.com “This north side business which also obtained a conditional use permit was shut down in November 3 months after it opened and Landeck says while some raids are successful not all of them are.” While most of the responsibility does fall on law enforcement Landeck says the City needs to learn from all the raids at illegal business that have been allowed to open. And until it becomes legal “Lets at least be strict in the one area where we can be strict and that’s to limit them to the zones according to our codes where they are allowed to operate.” Landeck stresses that not all businesses are functioning illegally, but many do and it’s not a secret. Discussions on authorizing the permit for the south Laredo amusement center will begin at tomorrow's City Council meeting.