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Judge Denies Plea to Dismiss Burbank Suit

January 15, 2002|KRISTINA SAUERWEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Monday rejected a plea by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to dismiss a lawsuit naming it as the defendant in a case designed to clarify the validity of an anti-airport-expansion law.

Burbank filed suit against the authority last fall asking the court to clarify if the city has the legal ability to enforce Measure A. The law prohibits the City Council from approving any airport construction or renovation unless certain conditions are met, including flight caps, a flight curfew, an environmental impact report and a master plan.

It also prevents the airport from adding runways or lengthening existing ones and requires approval by two-thirds of Burbank voters before a terminal may be built.

City officials have said the law puts Burbank in "an impossible position" because it contains terms and conditions that may violate state and local law and the California Constitution.

The authority countersued, asking a judge to dismiss the suit because it also questions the measure's legitimacy, spokesman Victor Gill said. For that reason, airport officials will not provide a defense.

A better defendant, the authority argued, would be Restore Our Airport Rights, the group that supports Measure A, which Burbank voters approved in October.

Denying the authority's position, the judge set a court hearing for April 17.

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