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Critics of Warehouse Lose in Appeals Court

An appeals court said Tuesday that it has rejected the plea of a group of homeowners in south Cypress who have battled for 2 1/2 years against having a large carpet-distribution warehouse in their neighborhood.

City Atty. John E. Cavanaugh said the ruling by the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana upheld city government’s action in approving the controversial warehouse in September 1994.

“It was a unanimous decision of the three Court of Appeal judges,” Cavanaugh said. “I am very, very pleased, and I think this again shows that our city departments fully complied with the law.”

At issue was an Orange County Superior Court ruling in May 1995 that expressed sympathy for the homeowners but said no resident had specifically called for a new environmental impact report during a public hearing in 1994.

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Superior Court Judge Francisco F. Firmat ruled he had no jurisdiction in the case because the homeowners had failed to mention the EIR.

The homeowners appealed Firmat’s ruling to the 4th District Court, and a hearing took place Jan. 22. The decision was announced Tuesday afternoon.

Kathy Simcox, one of the homeowners who battled the warehouse project, said she was not dismayed by the ruling. “What we’ve done has been well worth it,” she said. “We’ve learned a lot, and we’ve become involved. We never did this for ourselves but for the city.”

The homeowners’ battle against the warehouse included an unsuccessful recall election against three City Council members in 1995.

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The 439,650-square-foot warehouse at Valley View Street and Orangewood Avenue is already in operation.

Daniel Wildish, the attorney for the homeowners, said that his clients did not expect to see the warehouse torn down but that a favorable ruling could have meant more controls on any expansion of the building.


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