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Our Times / Orange County Communities | COVERING NORTH
COAST, CENTRAL, AND NORTHWEST CITIES : CYPRESS

Deadline Set in Truck Center Dispute

The City Council will decide on hours of operation if drivers and homeowners do not settle their differences by April 10.

March 22, 2000|ANDRE BRISCOE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In what Mayor Anna Piercy calls "an incompatible situation," the Cypress City Council has given independent truck drivers and homeowners on Rainier Drive until April 10 to settle their differences.

The disagreement centers on the truck drivers' hours of operation at the Cypress Truck Center on Lincoln Avenue. Homeowners on Rainier Drive, directly behind the truck center, said truckers operate their big rigs too early in the morning. Truckers said they need to get an early start to make a living.

Residents are asking the council to modify the conditional-use permit the property received in 1980 and limit the hours of operation at the facility to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

But truck drivers said they have gone out of their way to appease homeowners, reducing late-night and early-morning activity as much as possible.

"Our business is recycling, and limiting the hours on the yard would be detrimental to us," trucker Gerald Hopkins said. "We've bent over backward to do everything we can to work with residents. . . . If we can't move our trucks before 7 a.m., we could lose $2,000 [to] $3,000 a day.

Homeowners said that with so many independent truckers in the area, enforcing a single time they can operate is difficult.

"The point we're trying to make is that there simply is no control over this property," Rainier Drive homeowner Carol Doss said. "And without control it's impossible to keep track of everything that goes on over there."

Doss said the situation was different when Lewis Stokes owned the facility. Stokes sold the property in 1998 to Roland Spongberg.

"We don't have that kind of relationship with the current owner," Doss said. "We just have total chaos."

While the early-morning noise is the homeowners' main complaint, diesel fuel and other pollutants from the trucks that enter the neighborhood is also a concern.

"I'm not accusing them of intentionally dumping this waste," Doss said, "but if they can't, at the bare minimum, comply with what the conditional-use permit says then they need to go."

Many of the homeowners worried about the effect the polluted runoff would have on their pets.

The potential health effects the runoff could have on residents struck a chord with Councilman Tim Keenan at a council meeting March 13.

"It's a nuisance. It's a health and safety issue, and I want something to be done about it," Keenan said.

If the two parties have not come to an agreement by the April 10 council meeting, the council will decide the matter.

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Andre Briscoe can be reached at (714) 966-5848.

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