Porcine Pala Chairman Robert Smith's tribe, wants to tell a sovereign nation what to do, but remember when HE didn't need to produce evidence on disenrollment because PALA was sovereign?
Late this summer, a proposal to build 780 homes just north of state Route 76 and across the highway from the Pala Casino Resort & Spa will go before county planners and ultimately the Board of Supervisors or approval.
The developer, Ali Shapouri, has been working on the plans for his Warner Ranch project for 13 years and bases almost everything on a single concept — that thousands of casino and resort workers in North County (Pala, Pauma, Rincon, Valley View) drive great distances between their work and their homes.
But Pala is an Indian reservation and is technically a sovereign nation.
Lawyers for the tribe, in filings with the planning department, say Pala cannot be used to justify the project.
“As the numerous comments provided by the Pala Band to the County concerning this issue have made clear, the County has no regulatory jurisdiction over activities on the Pala Reservation and the Pala Band has no obligation to allow residents of the Project access to areas of the Reservation except on public roads,” they wrote last year.
Shapouri said that while technically Pala is its own country, the county needs to use common sense. The community exists, he said, and it’s right next door to where Warner Ranch would be built.
One example of how things are different when reservations are involved is the Pala tribe has a state-of-the art, fully staffed fire station less than a mile from where Warner Ranch would be built.
But the plans for the development include construction of a new fire station next to its entrance which will be handed over to the county.
The tribe also says Shapouri’s basic concept that workers in the area could buy homes at Warner Ranch is inaccurate. OP: Casino workers aren't paid enough? RAISE WAGES!
Ninety percent of casino/resort employees make $55,000 a year or less and simply couldn’t afford to buy a Warner Ranch home, even a condo, they say in comments to the planning department.
READ THE FULL PALA ARTICLE HERE