CYPRESS : Warehouse OKd Amid Residents' Protests

Despite pleas from an overflow audience that overwhelmingly opposed the project, the City Council early Tuesday morning unanimously approved construction of a large warehouse-distribution center in the Cypress Business Center.

The council's vote at 12:30 a.m. culminated a nightlong, raucous meeting during which the audience sometimes exploded into boos and catcalls. At one point, Mayor Richard Partin threatened to clear the room.

Most of the 135 in the audience were homeowners who said their residences would be degraded by truck traffic and noise from the warehouse to be built at 11400 Valley View St. Some accused the council of secrecy in handling of the project.

"There is so much deception that seems to be happening," resident Kent Woods said.

But council members said they followed the law in presenting the project and holding a public hearing Monday night and early Tuesday morning. Council members also said the large carpet wholesale-distribution center will bring in a tax windfall to the city. The developer estimated the warehouse will reap $12 million in new sales taxes over the next 10 years.

The 439,650-square-foot structure is to be built for Shaw Industries, a Georgia-based carpet maker.

Don Larimer, regional manager for Shaw Industries, told the council that the warehouse would be for wholesale purchases only and that 5 million yards of carpet would be stored in the building. He described it as "a very clean operation."

City staff officials also endorsed the warehouse, saying that the environmental impact would be minimal.

"This operation is going to be a benefit to the community," Councilman Walter K. Bowman said.

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