In the Dominican Republic, a federal judge has postponed the implementation of an injunction against Hard Rock International and its plan to build a 38-story hotel tower featuring a 23,000 sq ft casino in the capital city of Santo Domingo.
According to a report from G3Newswire, the injunction was filed by residents of the upper-class Piantini neighborhood and surrounding districts against the urban planning department of the country’s National District, which was responsible for granting the building permit for the planned Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Santo Domingo.
The action reportedly argues that the project violates local planning provisions and is riddled with irregularities while local lawyer Miriam Paulino, who is working on behalf of the plaintiffs, stated that the newly elected mayor of the National District, David Collado, has also been asked to temporarily suspend the building permit so that residents and experts can voice their concerns.
Paulino reportedly declared that the construction violates a number of rules including those governing the height of buildings in the area, which are only permitted to be a maximum of 23 stories, while explaining that the project is set to require double the 500 planned parking spaces and will lead to increased levels of traffic congestion.
However, Manuel Fermin Cabral, a lawyer engaged by involved local real estate firm Nivar, told local media outlets that the project had met with all of the necessary legal requirements as set out by the government of the National District as well as the nation’s Tourism Ministry, Public Works Ministry, and Environment Ministry.
Hard Rock International revealed earlier this year that the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Santo Domingo, which would be its second casino in the Caribbean nation along with the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Punta Cana, is due to offer two bars as well as a sportsbook, 400 slots, and some 40 gaming tables. But, opposition to the development has been growing since February when a committee consisting of local school staff and residents first asked the Finance Ministry to deny the venue a casino license. This was followed a month later when an open letter against the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Santo Domingo and signed by approximately 3,000 families was sent to Simon Lizardo, Finance Minister for the Dominican Republic, while July saw a number of surrounding neighborhood councils reiterate their objections to the development.
Hard Rock International is owned by the Seminole Tribe Of Florida with its portfolio consisting of 212 venues in 69 countries including 162 restaurants, 23 hotels, and eleven casinos.