The Danbury Zoning Commission closed the new public hearing into allowing off track betting as an accessory use in a restaurant. The group did not take further action on the issue at their meeting. In May, the Zoning Commission voted 6-3 allowing OTB as an accessory use in a restaurant.
Downtown business owner Andrea Gartner filed a lawsuit seeking to appeal the decision, alleging noncompliance with notification requirements. Sportech Venues doesn't agree with the allegation, but went back to the Commission to eliminate the issue.
Sportech has exclusive licensing rights in Connecticut and would provide 1.6 percent of gross revenue to City Center.
Sportech plans to renovate Two Steps into a sports bar and restaurant on the first floor, with OTB gaming on the 2nd floor. The Zoning Commission is not deciding on a site specific proposal, but a city wide change. The specific location would be subject to City Council approval.
Two Steps owner Tom Devine submitted letters of support. About half a dozen supporters spoke in favor of the zone change while an equal number of opponents raised concerns about the proposal.
Some of the opposition was about the legislature this year expanding the number of allowed OTB facilities. The state General Assembly approved a bill allowing Sportech to have 8 more off-track betting licenses. The Danbury location, if approved would be their 17th. When initial approval was given by Zoning in in May, Sportech was only authorized to have 18 licenses.
City Councilman John Esposito voiced opposition after hearing feedback from constituents.