Gold Line Reaches $24M Settlement With Monrovia Property Owner

The settlement ends a long legal battle between local property owner George Brokate and the Gold Line Construction Authority.

The Gold Line Construction Authority announced Friday that it has settled several lawsuits through a $24 million agreement to acquire land for the coming Foothill Extension from a local property owner who had repeatedly sued the transporation agency.

The deal allows the GLCA to move forward with the Foothill Extension, giving the agency control of more than 50 percent of the land it needs for a Monrovia maintenance yard project critical to the extension's progress.

Local property owner George Brokate of Excalibur Property Holdings in an effort to prevent his land on Evergreen Avenue from being condemned for the project. The GLCA initiated eminent domain proceedings against him, but those will no longer be necessary because of the agreement.

Doug Tessitor, chairman of the GLCA Board, said in a written statement that the deal was needed to avoid further litgation.

"Over the last year, Excalibur has instigated a series of lawsuits against the Construction Authority and continued to threaten more,“ Tessitor wrote. "Although we feel confident that we would have prevailed on the legal issues over time, the delay caused by the legal process and the uncertainties related to continuing through eminent domain were very risky, making this settlement the best decision for the Authority and our partner Metro."

Robert Silverstein, an attorney for Brokate, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Jerry A February 14, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Jonathan, I have no problems with electromagnetic radiation as long as I'm not exposed to more than 0.9 milligauss. But it's interesting how the City Council of Hawthorne differs from Monrovia's City Council. Except from article: "It's important that the city leaders listen to the residents and look out for increasing their quality of life," said Hawthorne City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Alex Vargas. He visited Fusion Center in January at the request of residents who wanted Hawthorne council members to see for themselves how close the facility would sit in relation to the community. "There are alternate locations where Metro can locate these yards without surrounding residences," he said. In mid-February, the Hawthorne City Council passed a resolution to formally oppose the maintenance facility, which will be discussed at Tuesday's Metro's meeting. Like I said, Monrovia's City Council didn't even want the residences on the South Side to know that these light rail maintenance yards emit radiation. Come on Monrovia City Hall, at least be honest with the people. I'm sure most of the residences in the vicinity will be safe from radiation exposure but what about devaluation of property values ? Remember we are talking about the maintenance yard, NOT the train station that some keep going back too. The train station isn't an issue.
Erin Thorn February 14, 2012 at 09:38 PM
@Ian - that is exactly what will happen in Glendora and all the other cities, including Monrovia, on the extension. No one wants to get almost home after a long day at work and go shopping. Unless there is a grocery store, Target or some other such quick stop store close at hand everyone will get in their cars, drive out onto our already congested city streets and be on their merry way. There's definitely no way people will get off the Gold Line in Monrovia and make the trek into Old Town to shop at the shops there. Especially the people who think they are going to be walking to and from the rail station.
Erin Thorn February 14, 2012 at 09:40 PM
Definitely not.
Erin Thorn February 14, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Yes well said from someone who probably doesn't live in the area that will be grossly disrupted by the monster that's coming.
NWT February 14, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Actually Erin, my property is within the 1/4 mile radius, albeit on the north side of the 210. I'll have to wait until the resulting development of the Myrtle Avenue corridor is complete until I realize any increase in my properties value. You on the other hand being so close to the station will realize that gain in value the first day Monrovia station opens. As I've said to you in previous comments, if you don't like the train, wait on the completion of the project, then sell & move. You have everything to gain in desirability of location for commuters and overall property value. In other parts of the country, Urbanites pay a PREMIUM to live close to transit stations!
Jonathan Lesueur February 14, 2012 at 09:59 PM
that story is from a year ago if their was a huge problem with radiation in all maintenance yard all governments stop using them. They have the right to say what they want if they want to talk about the train station they can you can't stop them. Also the only home near the future maintenance yard are the ones facing California st I don't think that radiation will affect the people on the south side because of the distance.
Terry February 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I live exactly a mile from the Azusa-Citrus station. I am hoping my Glendora home's property value will gain at least 10%. The Azusa-Citrus station should be the busiest station of the extension due to being right on top of APU and Citrus College and serving as an interim Glendora station. Those who already own properties around the corner of Citrus Ave + Foothill Blvd hit the jackpot. Their home values should increase tremendously once the train is in service. The Azusa-Citrus Station is the draw to Azusa's Rosedale development.
Jerry A February 14, 2012 at 11:50 PM
We have some real dreamers among us today. In Los Angeles County the affects on residential property values rose only 1% to 3 1/2 % for apartments and homes that were with in 1/4 mile to 1/2 of a mile from a light rail station. While condos saw a decrease in value of 6 %. But commercial property owners are the big winners. Commercial property values usually, not always but usually have significantly increase. Remember there are many factors involved, noise, increased traffic congestion that comes with rail stations. According to the L.A. County Sheriffs Dept. study usually kept from the community if you already have gang activity or gang members living with in 1/4 mile of a future train station site there will be an increase of crime. Remember your living in Los Angeles County, not Orange County or San Diego County. Your also living in California, a failing state because people keep sending clowns to Sacramento who keep spending, taxing and regulating then they raise your taxes again so they can spend more. www.slp2.org/documents/propertyvalfs04.pdfSimilar
Erin Thorn February 15, 2012 at 12:43 AM
NWT - I don't know who you are, nor do I know of any previous comments you have made to me. I don't care either. Don't know exactly where you live so 1/4 mile north means nothing. We can go back and forth as much as you like but this thing brings nothing but a mess to this area. I don't know how you know how close I live, either. Thinking I'm going to gain property value is a joke. I'm far too close to GAIN value. I'm not in the financial position to sell my property, especially at a loss, and move elsewhere within Monrovia. Having lived here for as long as I've lived in California, I'd like to stay here. Everything and everyone I care about is close by. I will most definitely not be able to sell my home once the Gold Line goes through. No one wants that thing in their front yard and trust me it'll be in my side yard at best.
Ian February 15, 2012 at 12:50 AM
I don't have a problem with a light rail going through Glendora, nor do I have a problem with a station in Glendora. What I have a problem with is the constant barrage (or however you spell it) of statements that a light rail station will increase sales tax revenue in Glendora. No, it will not. Those who say that people will drive (or funnier yet, walk) to The Village to "dine" after getting off the train at night have probably never taken the Blue Line (or any line for that matter) to and from work on a regular basis. Oh, and the statement that the light rail had anything to do with downtown Pasadena's economic upturn that began a few years ago is hilarious. Somebody is smoking some gnarly stuff.
NWT February 15, 2012 at 01:05 AM
It's ok Erin, we can agree to disagree. I hold firm to my belief that in the end, this will be a huge boon to our property values. I really do think in the not so distant future you'll be pleasantly surprised as far as property values go, and should you choose to, I highly doubt you'd have to sell at a loss. Just to clarify, I was referring back to a comment on a similar Patch topic's thread back in July. I don't know, nor do I really care to know where your exact address is. I just recall you stating that it was extremely close to the project/station. And yes, Monrovia is a great place to live and I wouldn't want to leave the city either.
NWT February 15, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Ian, I'll take the train anywhere I can when I have the option. I had jury duty in Downtown LA last month, I took the Gold Line. If I'm going to see a Dodger Game or Lakers game? I take the Gold Line (TIP to the local Dodger fans: on game days Metro runs a free shuttle from Union Station to Dodger Stadium, just show your Metro ticket. Traxx bar at Union Station is also a great place to meet with friends before the game.) When the Azusa to Montclair phase opens up I'll definitely take the train to visit family in La Verne & have dinner and a night out in Old Claremont. When the line finally makes it out to Ontario Airport, Hasta la vista LAX! (except for the seldom need to fly internationally) I don't doubt that many others will use the Gold Line similarly. And you are correct, the Gold Line has little to do with the OLD TOWN pasadena upturn, other than contributing as another means of delivering people to the area. I was specifically taking about the Arroyo/Fair Oaks corridor, which the Gold Line has had a significant impact on that neighborhoods renaissance & re-development. Lastly, comparing the Gold Line & the Blue Line is very much comparing apples to oranges. The areas the blue line travels thru south of Grand down thru to PCH are a little rough. While I'm sure there are some local treasures as far as shopping and dinning go, that area has not had the development that the smaller and more quaint cities of the SGV have had. Hence why would nonresidents want to stop there?
SgtJackWagon February 15, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Exactly, but be careful, that might make NWT a "knucklehead." Ahhhh, oh well!
jake February 15, 2012 at 03:12 AM
Yes I agree mayor should resign or be prosecuted , if not we should just move on because it will just repeat again anyway.,
R. Ray Morford February 15, 2012 at 03:23 AM
I can't believe how disgusting some of the above comments have become. I agree the maintenance yard would have served everyone better in Irwindale, but the brewery said NO!!! They wanted the space for future expansion. End of Story. We have a choice of working together or listening to sour grapes. I choose to support our elected officials with this project.
Joe Black February 15, 2012 at 07:39 AM
That's right Mark...Go ahead and believe what the politicians tell you. I actually saw the transfer of title for the first parcel sold to GLCA, well before any of this became a discussion point. Why not put in a public records request yourself and see that Mayor Lutz was on the board of one of affiliate companies that sold the first Parcel to GLCA. Or you can simply put your head back in the sand.
R Terry February 15, 2012 at 09:04 AM
I also think it will be the rare person who will get off the Gold Line in Monrovia to walk up to Old Town. Nobody is going to bother leaving the station in Arcadia...the mall is way too far away. This is all about a transportation option for other than for shopping. The exception might be the small business district on Mission in South Pasadena.
mark h. February 15, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Ya know Joe, back in the days of the red scare of the 50s, Senator McCarthy used to wave papers around and accuse people of being commies. He was usually making it up and falsely accusing people. So let's look at some context for your accusations. Mayor Lutz was not a GLCA Board Member. She was an alternate (a position, it turns out, didn't actually exist.) She sat as a Board Member at only three meetings. (You can look all this up in the Board agendas). So, assuming your transfer of title is as you say, was she sitting as a Board Member on the day that parcel was purchased? If yes, did she recuse herself? Or did she vote? The libelous accusations here are that she personally profited. You point out she was "on the board" of an affiliate company that sold a parcel. Affiliate company? Not an owner? Did she vote for the sale? What was this entity? Was she an alternate at that time? Sir, your attempts to tar and feather a public official must fail because you cannot back up anything you say. What you offer adds up to nothing. If you have evidence, show it. Go to the DA and give it to their public integrity unit. Give it to the Patch. Prove what you say or stay quiet.
NWT February 15, 2012 at 08:19 PM
So your gripe really is about the purported (and what sounds to be grossly over exaggerated) extra 15 minutes it takes you to drive from Pasadena city hall to your place of business- and it's all the train's fault. LOL Ok Jerry, what about the connivence and mobility Metro Rail provides to the 350,000+ (43,000 of which are on the Gold Line) daily ridership? Guess in Jerry's world they're S.O.L? Sounds like you've got the classic "After me you come first" mentality. I also say you're way off center when it comes to where M&O facility employees will be spending some of their money. Yes, some will probably brown bag it. Others will walk to nearby eateries in the Home Depot, Walmart and Best Buy shopping centers, and yet others will drive to places for lunch along Huntington drive and in Old Town. Those who drive their vehicles to work will most likely buy gas & run personal errands between work and home, such as pick up a cup of Coffee, Dry cleaning, Rx, buy Gas, do Banking, ect. All these activities drive business and sales tax revenue for our city. Contrary to popular belief, transportation workers (especially train Drivers and Repair & Mantenance technicians-Highly specialized workers) do pretty well for themselves and some of these transportation workers just might choose to relocate to Monrovia after working here, maybe even some of them from the get go. Yet again more tax revenue. The undeniable fact is Jerry, people tend to WANT to live near their places of work.
NWT February 15, 2012 at 08:20 PM
As things sit, I agree. This is why the Transit Village development must incorporate a practical mix of Restaurant, Residential and Retail to be successful. Also, The Old Town Trolly schedule needs to be augmented to provide a convenient connection targeted towards Gold line Riders between The Transit Village and Old Town.
Joe Black February 15, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Hmmm....Why is it OK for the brewery to say no, but not Mr Brokate? Why did the GLCA choose to fight Mr Brokate...because they thought it would be easier and didn't expect him to fight back as hard as he did. Working together means the elected officials need to respect the rights of constuituants they were elected to serve. When that doesn't happen, lawsuits are the last resort. Mr Brokate is not the villan here. Mayor Lutz and Scott Ochoa created this mess and profited from it. Go be mad at them.
R. Ray Morford February 16, 2012 at 01:20 AM
The Brewery is not in our City. Their City needs to deal with the Breweries No Answer.
Joe Black February 16, 2012 at 06:20 AM
NWT, why not put in a request to the City of Monrovia instead of calling people liars. The documents are there if you want to know the truth. Your laziness is you problem, not mine.
Jonathan Lesueur February 16, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Jerry A regardless the fact Irwindale is not monrovia different politics going on. If metro were to go against miller in court they would lose because miller can pull its business and leave and their goes the revenue for the city of Irwindale . I wish you and others quit bashing Scott Ochoa and mayor Lutz they are thinking what is best for the city. You bring these false facts up that you can't prove. And saying that Mr brokate was unfairly treated by a possible eminent domain you are wrong he settled it was his decision no one was holding a knife on him to sign that contract for 24 million he made that decision no one else I understand that he was in the military I had family that was in the military too but you keep bring his military background up so that everybody will feel bad for him that is wrong. I see the goldline as change it will bring new businesses that means more people to monrovia shops that means more revenue to the city also people would want to move here to be closer to their job. Also this will creat jobs at M&O yard and all the new business and shop along the goldline .
NWT February 16, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Actually Joe, you're the one throwing around outrageous accusations. Why don't you put your money where your mouth is and back it up with some proof? Otherwise your some vociferous sensationalist who lacks any form of creditability whatsoever.
Joe Black February 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM
NWT, you are the one calling me a liar. The burden is on you as you are the one saying all of my statements are inaccurate. Are you saying you have no proof to back up your allogations?
NWT February 16, 2012 at 11:59 PM
LOL, Proof is in the thread chuckle head. In case you forgot: Joe Black 11:32 pm on Sunday, February 12, 2012 "Or how about Mayor Lutz and Scott Ochoa for offering land they did not own, or in the case of Lutz, selling land she had an interest in." ....And then there's this wildly outlandish statement: Joe Black 11:39 pm on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 "I actually saw the transfer of title for the first parcel sold to GLCA, well before any of this became a discussion point. Why not put in a public records request yourself and see that Mayor Lutz was on the board of one of affiliate companies that sold the first Parcel to GLCA." You supposedly saw said documents right? Why not just post them here, or at the very least provide a verifiable document specific citation? You do that and it checks out- I'll conceded I was wrong. I'm adult enough to do so. Until then Joe, you're just some obnoxious accusation monger with no merit whatsoever. The End.
Joe Black February 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM
NWT, from your comments it is clear that you are not adult enough back up your own statements let alone anything else. All you have to do is go down to City Hall and request the documents for youself. Simply ask for all documents related to all sales of Property to the GLCA, and see which companies were involved and than see who was affiliated with them. In the documents I was handed, it was clear to me and aparently is was to Mr Silverstein as well that Mayor Lutz had an interest in the transaction. Sorry if that is too much effort for you. The information is there if you or anyone else wants to see it.
Ian February 17, 2012 at 04:52 AM
NWT, taking the rail system is indeed wonderful. I did the Blue Line for just over a couple of years and loved it. I've also gone Gold Line to Red Line and back a few times. The thing is, this Gold Line extention is being sold (in large part) to us by saying that people will get off at the station in Glendora after work, and then walk (bah) or drive over to The Village to eat and shop before going home from work. It ain't gonna happen. I have no problem with the extention nor the station... I'm looking forward to it. I have a problem with people trying to shove pixie dust and rainbows down my throat in order to get me to go along with something.
R Terry February 17, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Hey guys...this is going on forever. Just post the links and let the other guy read them and let it go...


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