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Bay Meadows


So Bay Meadows began what is probably, almost certainly, most definitely going to be it’s last full season of racing on Wednesday. (In the photo above, shot by Times photographer Mathew Sumner, Oakland resident Bill Jones, 86, makes his picks Wednesday afternoon.)

Track officials have declined to completely rule out the possibility of racing continuining into 2009, but demolition of the track is presently scheduled to begin sometime this fall.

So, anyway, we thought this would be a good time to post the rather lengthy item from Saturday’s print Insider column on Bay Meadows’ involvement in the fight over Props 94-97 and the Indian gaming compacts for those who didn’t see Saturday’s paper.

Here it is, with just a couple small edits to update the chronology:

The battle over four Indian gaming compacts got a bit nastier last week, when a union supporting the agreements filed a complaint with the state attorney general against the owner of Bay Meadows race track.

In a letter dated Jan. 29, the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association urged the attorney general to investigate whether Terry Fancher, whose real estate fund owns both Bay Meadows and Hollywood Park in Inglewood, made false statements to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which has invested $177 million in the fund.

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Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2008
Under: Aaron Kinney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bay Meadows, San Mateo | No Comments »

The future of Bay Meadows


The ruling last week against Friends of Bay Meadows by a state appeals court panel centered around 36 signatures that were collected in 2005 for a petition to save the Bay Meadows race track from demolition.

The group tried to argue that the signatures in question, which were collected from people who needed assistance in filling out the form, because of infirmity or for some other reason, should have been counted.

The 2005 petition campaign fell just short of the number of signatures needed to challenge a City Council decision approving the redevelopment of the track.

But the panel upheld the 2006 ruling of San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Mark Forcum, who found that the signatures were not accompanied by a second signature in the margin by a witness to the act, as required by law.

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Posted on Thursday, December 20th, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Bay Meadows, Elections Office, San Mateo, San Mateo County | No Comments »

Jack Matthews and the tale of Hillsdale Garden


San Mateo Mayor Jack Matthews made an interesting assertion in a recent editorial interview for the November election.

In response to a question about Hillsdale Garden Apartments, the 697-unit complex that sold for $97.3 million in 2006, Matthews told the Times that the city got the new owner, Essex Property Trust, to agree to cap its rent increases at $200 per year.

That was news to us. As we reported in early August, Community Development Director Bob Beyer met with an Essex executive July 27 to discuss the company’s rent increases, which were so high that they were driving long-time residents out of complex.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, Jack Matthews, San Mateo | No Comments »

Diamond feels roughed up over Delaware Place


One interesting tidbit in the report on San Mateo’s downtown by San Francisco-based consulting firm Economics Research Associates: According to developers interviewed for the study, there is a general discontent with the city’s planning process, which is filled with uncertainty and “red tape.”

“The Planning Commission’s decision-making process is considered by some in the development community to be lengthy, subjective and arbitrary,” the report stated.

We’re reminded of Jennifer Diamond, who recently settled a suit against the city over a 111-unit housing project on South Delaware Street. Diamond filed the suit last year on behalf of herself and other residents of Ironwood town homes, who felt the four-story Delaware Place project would rob their own complex of sunlight.

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Posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2007
Under: Aaron Kinney, San Mateo | 1 Comment »