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El Monte Studies Slim Hopes of Annexation

Times Staff Writer

In their fight against a proposed landfill development in Arcadia which borders homes in El Monte, city officials are investigating the unlikely prospect of annexing the area in question.

But barring a sudden change of heart by the landowner or Arcadia, the effort is doomed, according to officials from the county Local Agency Formation Commission.

Last week, the City Council asked staff to look into annexing the 100 acres owned by developer O. E. Rodeffer, an effort almost identical to one rebuffed by Rodeffer and Arcadia a decade ago.

For years, the two cities have fought over Rodeffer’s proposal to turn a depleted quarry into a landfill for soil, rock and other inert material. The disputed area, on the western bank of the San Gabriel River at Lower Azusa Road, is a sliver of Arcadia surrounded by El Monte homes.

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Environmental Report

Arcadia has received a draft environmental impact report on Rodeffer’s plan for an 85-acre landfill and 12.2 acres of light industrial development on a parcel south of Lower Azusa.

A self-storage facility has already been built on the southern portion, but is included in the impact report.

The Arcadia City Council will hold a public hearing on the report on Oct. 20. Certification of the report would be the first step toward approving the project.

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The report concludes that the project’s potential detrimental impacts can be mitigated and the proposal will benefit the area.

El Monte’s first annexation effort, which targeted Rodeffer’s land and some adjacent property, died in 1978. LACFO denied the request in light of opposition from Arcadia and Rodeffer. Undaunted, El Monte is trying again in hopes of circumventing Rodeffer’s opposition.

“I think that LAFCO can overrule (Rodeffer),” said El Monte Councilman Ernest Gutierrez, who suggested annexing the area. “I don’t know that they will, but they can. Who has the sphere of influence over that area? Clearly El Monte, because we’re right there.”

But Michi Takahashi, LAFCO’s executive assistant, said the land could only be annexed if all parties agree.

Concurrence Required

“If a territory is already part of a city, it cannot be done,” she said. “It requires the concurrence of both cities, and the concurrence of the property owners.”

Arcadia officials said they had not heard of a serious annexation proposal, and Rodeffer did not respond to several inquiries from The Times.

Meanwhile, after reviewing the draft impact report, the Arcadia Planning Commission has raised questions regarding the project.

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Chairman George Papay said the commission is concerned that adequate monitoring of ground water be done before and after the landfill begins operation to determine the source of any contamination.

Commissioners also questioned whether adequate measures were being taken to safeguard against dust, and suggested that the site and access roads be watered, he said.

The proposed landfill hours of operation, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., were also questioned. Commissioners were uncertain whether trucks would begin lining up before the landfill opened in the morning and if all work at the landfill would stop at 5 p.m.


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