Bay Meadows work may shuttle station up north

While horse racing fans gear up for what could be an extra year of racing at Bay Meadows, the developers ready to turn the track into a mixed-use complex are slowly making their way through the city approval process.

At a Thursday night Planning Commission study session, the general course for discussions and approvals was laid out and some key questions were answered.

The meeting was a follow-up to the May study session in which a number of people discussed their concerns over the possible relocation of the Hillsdale Caltrain Station. The station is situated in the southwest corner of the 84-acre site.

Ian MacAvoy of the San Mateo County Transit District said there is a possibility the station will be relocated north along the rail. At the first meeting, the city council and planning commission questioned whether a decision on the site plan and architectural review could be made without knowing where the station would be.

“The Bay Meadows Phase II project and site plan have been designed to make a connection to the station in both its current location or in an alternative location north,” Associate Planner Darcy Forsell said in a memorandum to the planning commission.

Keith Orlesky, director of design for the project, said that while moving the station north would create a better street alignment for some of the pedestrian routes in the site, the current station is still within a five-minute walk of much of the project.

According to Chris Meany, head of development for Wilson Meany Sullivan, the project’s developers, the approval process should be wrapping up within a year, with final public hearings scheduled for the summer of 2008.

He does not expect it to impact any racing that may go on in 2008, which became a possibility this month a waiver was grantedto allow the track to continue racing for another year.

“Our goal is to run racing right up to the day before we start construction, and my guess is that we will both run some races in 2008 and get shovels into the ground in 2008,” Meany said.

jgoldman@examiner.com

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