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San Gabriel Valley Digest

El Monte : City Sued Over Property

December 11, 1986

In the latest in a series of lawsuits concerning a parcel of land on Lower Azusa Road in Arcadia that borders homes in El Monte, E. O. Rodeffer and Public Storage Inc. jointly have filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking $1 million in punitive damages each from the city of El Monte, its city attorney and five councilmen, alleging that the property was taken without due process of law.

Rodeffer sold part of the nine-acre site, which is zoned for manufacturing, to Public Storage and is seeking to sell the remainder.

The suit charges that El Monte, which denied sewer hook-up and water service to Public Storage, unlawfully exercised its powers of government, making the land owned by Public Storage and Rodeffer valueless.

The suit also charges that the defendants threatened prospective buyers of the Rodeffer property with litigation or other retaliation if they should purchase any portion of the property for any purpose other than residential development.

El Monte and Rodeffer have been at odds over the property because the city wants homes rather than businesses built in that area. Rodeffer contends that the property is unsuitable for residential development because of its proximity to a proposed landfill site just across Lower Azusa Road.

El Monte City Atty. Sidney Maleck said he had not seen the lawsuit and would not comment.

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