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Horse-Betting Project Gains Ground

Lake Forest's Planning Commission endorses the idea of an upscale restaurant with satellite horse-race wagering.

A former Black Angus could be transformed into an upscale restaurant and sports bar with satellite horse betting under a proposal approved by the Lake Forest Planning Commission.

The million-dollar project, at a site off Interstate 5 and Lake Forest Drive, would include plush chairs, big-screen TVs and a wagering room, according to a report in the Orange County Register.

Developers of the proposed Sammy’s hope they can open in time for the Kentucky Derby. A similar off-track betting tavern operates in San Clemente.

Read the full Register story here.

Charles November 17, 2012 at 02:20 AM
How might this affect Lake Forest real estate values?
KC November 17, 2012 at 03:11 AM
I imagine the same as the pot dispenseries, where a plucky citizen brings to light the large number of establishments (wasn't it almost 1 per square mile?) and ends up costing the city quite a bit in legal fees and losing at the state supreme court level.
Andromeda November 17, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Now which of our family value crusaders on the City Council will step in and appeal the Planning Commission's ruling? It just takes one to force a vote at the Council level. I was thinking that this would be an excellent opportunity for Dwight Robinson to prove to us just how family values oriented he is. He's a dad, a Sunday school teacher, a coach and says that we need to raise money locally for the school children. I'm certain that based on his campaign platform that Dwight would not approve of gambling in the City. Or would he? Time to walk some talk! Oh, but wait! They say the gambling house will bring $50,000 in new revenue to the City annually. Money talks, family values walks! :^) In the meantime, let's pour another couple hundred thousand into stopping reefer madness! :^)
MFriedrich November 17, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Great idea! I was kind of wondering what I was going to do with all this government backed HELOC money! Now I know!
El Toro Resident November 17, 2012 at 04:23 AM
The area in question is very undesirable. There is a night club less than a block away, a liquor store and a very large unkemp parking lot. I see a lot of questionable looking people just hanging around the area. I don't think their proposed gaming/ dining venture is going to attract the intented people. I think they will have a different element attracted to the place. I'm sure the planning commission could come up with a better idea.
Susan Wattles November 17, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I think it's a wonderful plan. That building is empty and in a less than desirable location so it has limited appeal. People who bet on horses, (and they are not necessarily low-life), are going to frequent it no matter the locale so the city wins with more tax revenue. If you don't believe in gambling, don't go.
DLR November 17, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I'm from NY and I remember all the off track betting places there. Not a one attracted the clientele that you'd want roaming around your neighborhood. Lake Forest is not the place for OTB. This is going to be nothing but trouble.
El Toro Resident November 18, 2012 at 01:33 AM
It makes me wonder if someone on the Planning commish use to frequent Captain Creams? Just saying.
Lake Forest Citizen Paying Attention December 04, 2012 at 10:11 PM
While I agree that the City needs additional tax revenues and the area in question is in need of new businesses and the owners of this long empty building deserve an opportunity to actually generate some income by renting it out, this article fails to mention that the Planning Commission voted to deny a use permit on an earlier proposal by a group that intended to renovate the building into a funeral parlor. Considering LF doesn't have even one funeral parlor, I see no reason to deny such a use, but the current PC members turned it down. First they deny a legitimate business use for the space, then they table the vote on the gambling house until after the election to protect Terry Anderson and Kathy Zechmeister (whose husband is another Commissioner) from negative publicity of voting in favor of gambling right before the election, and now they all vote unanimously to approve the gambling. Consider that they were all appointed to the PC by Peter Herzog, they all voted as a block, and they did so in a politically deceptive way, and it leaves me wondering how the vote would have come out had the funeral home investors been clients of Mr. Herzog's governmental affair consulting practice. Also begs the question as to whether Brad McKinzie is a current client of Herzog!

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