Airport awaiting appraisal on land

Ben Godar

A decision on what the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority

will do about repaying the Federal Aviation Administration for land

purchased with federal grants will wait until the land is appraised.


Dios Marrero, the Airport Authority’s executive director, outlined

the contents of a letter from the FAA received last week to airport’s

commissioners at their Monday meeting. In the letter, FAA

Administrator Marion Blakey asked the Airport Authority to pay the


agency the fair market value for 55 acres of land purchased with

federal grants for a terminal that has not been built. The FAA will

not require the authority to repay the value of another 62 acres of

land purchased with federal dollars, as long as it is used as a noise

buffer for the surrounding area.

The value of the land in question will be determined by an

appraisal, and Marrero said until that occurs, the Airport Authority

has no idea what its liability will be. Blakey asked the group to


present the FAA with the results of an appraisal within 30 days, but

Marrero said he was not sure the Airport Authority would be able to

meet that deadline.

“I don’t know whether that’s realistic or not,” he said. “It’s a

total of 55 acres, and a very complex configuration.”

Airport officials can either sell the land to recoup its value or

keep it and repay the FAA with other funds. Although the commission

is not likely to discuss the issue in depth until the land has been


appraised, Burbank Commissioner Charles Lombardo said the chances of

retaining the land and continuing to pursue a terminal are bleak.

“I think everybody agrees it’s the perfect place for a terminal,

but that’s where the agreement ends,” Lombardo said. “Absent a

consensus from everybody involved, I think it may be time to look at

what we can sell the property for.”

Glendale commissioners Gerald Briggs, Carl Povilaitis and Carl

Meseck did not address the issue at Monday’s meeting, and could not

be reached for comment afterward.

The Airport Authority had proposed using the 55 acres of land for

various airport and security functions, including the relocation of

the Burbank and Glendale National Guard armories. Marrero said such a

use is still a possibility, but the National Guard would have to

purchase the land from the Airport Authority.

“The project can go forward, but it goes forward under different

rules,” he said.

The commissioners also voted on new officers Monday, with Lombardo

being elected president. Former president Chris Holden of Pasadena

was elected vice president, and Povilaitis was elected secretary.

Lombardo, Holden and Burbank Commissioner Bill Wiggins were

nominated for president, but Holden and Wiggins declined their


The three Glendale commissioners voted against Lombardo’s

nomination for president.