Below is the news release from the Authority, which is building the 11.5-mile extension of the Gold Line from Pasadena to the Azusa/Glendora border. The case involves the Authority’s attempts to acquire the land needed for a rail car maintenance facility in Monrovia.
MONROVIA – Today, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) received the final Court ruling on one of several petitions filed by an unwilling seller of land within the future maintenance and operations facility site for the Pasadena to Azusa extension of the Gold Line Foothill Extension project. The ruling released today denies the petitioner’s request that the court invalidate the Construction Authority’s certification of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) for the project.
In general, the basis for the lawsuit was the following: the SEIR covered only a piece of the overall project from Pasadena to Montclair and therefore did not evaluate the full impact, mitigation or alternatives necessary; the range of alternatives was insufficient; the Final SEIR did not adequately respond to the comments submitted to the Draft SEIR by the petitioner; and the Monrovia site was the predetermined choice for the maintenance facility before the environmental process was complete.
“This is an important victory for the project,” said Construction Authority board chairman and Glendora Mayor Doug Tessitor. “The SEIR addressed and analyzed a number of project changes since the original EIR was certified in 2007 and the Authority can now continue moving forward with these changes as part of the final project.”
To date, the petitioner has initiated six lawsuits against the Construction Authority and City of Monrovia in an attempt to stop the eminent domain process for his property. The lawsuits have ranged from alleging a secret conspiracy, to challenging the ability of board members to sit on the Construction Authority board, to claiming the Construction Authority is not legally permitted to conduct design-build procurements.
“The Court’s ruling is consistent with the very thorough tentative ruling we received earlier this week, augmented with additional responses to the petitioner’s more-than-hour long oral argument the day of the hearing,” said Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian. “This is all very good news and we appreciate that the Judge provided her final ruling within days of the hearing.”
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About the Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa
The Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa is being built by the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature to plan, design and build the light rail line from Union Station to the county line along the Foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. Los Angeles County’s Measure R half-cent sales tax increase is fully funding the Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa, an 11.5-mile extension that will add six new stations in five cities. Future segments are also being planned and are in varying phases of study.