Warehouse construction, a hot political topic in this city, dominated City Council business Monday night and into the early hours Tuesday.
After testimony by residents and a lengthy debate, the City Council about 1 a.m. approved a revised plan for a controversial warehouse project in the Valley View Street area.
The unanimous council vote allows the construction of a single 121,900-square-foot warehouse to house a sporting-goods distribution company, Diamond Sports. Previously, the contractor for the project had approval for two smaller warehouses on the same site.
The discussion included bitter exchanges between some south Cypress residents and council members facing recall. The residents have accused the council of ruining neighborhoods by approving warehouses.
"I continue to be amazed at the way this City Council operates," said Tony Smith, a south Cypress resident who is a leader in the recall effort. Smith and others are seeking the ouster of Mayor Cecilia L. Age, Councilwoman Gail H. Kerry and Councilman Walter K. Bowman.
Kathy Simcox, another resident active in the recall drive, charged that the City Council is more attuned to developers than to people who live in Cypress.
"No developer or company should be able to pressure the city of Cypress and its council to approve any projects before all concerns of the public have been resolved," she said.
Council members, in rebuttal, told the audience that they had carefully studied the warehouse projects. They noted that expert testimony from private consultants had assured city government that traffic, noise and other environmental effects would be minimal.
The council rejected residents' pleas to delay a vote on the Diamond Sports warehouse until after a court hearing next month.