North Carolina County Commissioners Approve Rezoning for a Casino, Despite Local Opposition

  • Rockingham County commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of rezoning
  • Residents are upset that the land is next to a camp for kids with disabilities
  • An actual casino expansion bill has yet to be introduced in the legislature
North Carolina postcard
The Board of Commissioners in Rockingham County, North Carolina, voted 5-0 to rezone a parcel of land so it could be the home for a potential casino. [Image: / UNC Libraries Commons]

The possibility of a casino in Rockingham County, North Carolina has taken a step forward, as the county’s Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to rezone 192 acres from residential agricultural to highway commercial. Monday’s 5-0 vote follows the Rockingham County Planning Board’s 5-2 vote against rezoning last month.

According to local media reports, county residents came to the commission’s meeting in droves, mostly to express their opposition. Chief among those voices were those speaking up for Camp Carefree, a camp for children with disabilities that is located next to the land.

don’t just look to the developers who keep coming in, wanting to buy our property”

Rhonda Rodenbough, treasurer of Camp Carefree, told the commissioners to consider the people they represent and their responsibilities toward them, adding: “Don’t just look to the developers who keep coming in, wanting to buy our property, wanting to overcrowd our residents, wanting to take parcels of land, and turn them into entertainment districts.”

Though the rezoning has now been approved, commercial casinos must still be legalized by state lawmakers and there has yet to be a bill introduced. Those developers that Rodenbough mentioned are gaining traction; eight lawmakers have accepted donations from The Cordish Companies, which lobbied for the rezoning through NC Development Holdings.

Additionally, Senate Leader Phil Berger’s district includes Rockingham County and his son, Kevin, is one of the county’s commissioners. In July, Sen. Berger said it was “better than 50/50” that a gambling expansion bill would make through the legislature this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *