A rendering of the third hotel tower planned by the Viejas Band.

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Wednesday unanimously approved an agreement with the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians that removes a hurdle for a new hotel and casino expansion project on the East County reservation.

The deal provides $150,000 to the county to pay for impacts caused by the hotel, including traffic concerns, fire protection, lighting and water resources.

“If you haven’t been to Viejas to visit their new hotel and their gaming facilities, I would encourage people to do (so),” Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob said before the vote.

“They’ve done a phenomenal job, it is really first class, on a freeway easy to get there, no narrow rural road that’s jam-packed with traffic,” she said. “There’s a really good alternative for gaming out in East County.”

The Viejas tribe will be building a third tower, following a pair of hotel projects over the last few years. The tribe has paid $150,000 each time to mitigate the impacts.

The first two hotel buildings were constructed east of the Viejas Casino. The third one will be a five-story, 170-room tower on the west side, with a full-service spa, restaurant and entertainment spaces. The project will also include renovation and expansion of part of the casino, according to an environmental study filed with the county in August.

—City News Service

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