After having faced multiple lawsuits in what has been a long drawn out legal battle, Wynn Resorts will finally be able to proceed with the development of its $2 billion casino project on the banks of the Mystic River in Everett, Massachusetts.
In January, Wynn Resorts received approval from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a critical environmental permit and that decision won’t be challenged by the City of Somerville. Multiple lawsuits have been filed by the city, one of which challenged the waterfront development permit citing the negative effect on the environment and traffic conditions due to the project’s close proximity to the Everett- Somerville-Boston line. That appeal delayed Wynn’s planned groundbreaking scheduled for April and forced the Paradise, Nevada-headquartered corporation to endure the drawn out DEP hearing process.
While the environmental license eliminates the final hurdle to construction, the possibility of more litigation still exists. Spokeswoman for the City of Somerville, Denise Taylor, said “Somerville is however continuing to evaluate the decision and whether to pursue judicial review,” according to the news agency. The license could be appealed, but that wouldn’t stop the DEP from issuing it; that would have had to be done prior to Wednesday evening.
Various conditions contained in the environmental permit were challenged by Somerville’s Mayor Joseph Curtatone, including, reducing the span of the casino license to 50 years from 85 years, and requiring Wynn to expand the minimum amount of space around the development by an additional two acres. The mayor has said in the past that the intent of the appeal was not to prevent the Wynn Boston Harbor Resort from opening, but to ensure that the health, environmental, and waterways concerns of the city were properly addressed. The mayor said that the new conditions contained in the license issued by the DEP would be more beneficial to Somerville.