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San Jose: A’s ballpark land is safe — for now

Oakland AthleticsSan Jose took measures to protect land worth $25 million — dedicated to a new Oakland Athletics ballpark — from a state takeover of redevelopment agencies, and the land appears safe for now.

Flash back to last year, when the California Assembly and Gov. Jerry Brown were looking for ways to balance the state budget. One part of the puzzle: closing down city and county redevelopment agencies and divert their resources to basic spending.

It’s a move that killed one ballpark project in Escondido and caused some ripples in nearby Santa Clara, where county officials pulled $30 million from redevelopment funds committed to a new San Francisco 49ers stadium. Whether this is legal or not remains to be seen — the funding was explicitly approved by voters — but it’s caused some concern as to whether San Jose’s efforts to protect the land would be effective. So far the land appears to be safe, at least from the same Santa Clara County officials who raided the 49ers budget.

San Jose City Attorney Rick Doyle tells the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal that the land is safe, as Santa Clara County officials “specifically agreed” not to go after the land. (Whether state Controller John Chiang will lay off is another issue.) 

That means the land needed for a new A’s ballpark is safe. It doesn’t provide a resolution to the bigger conflict, as the San Francisco Giants continue to oppose a new San Jose facility for the A’s — a stalemate that doesn’t seem to have an apparent solution.

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