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Missouri City councilmembers, after a long debate, decided 4-3 Monday night to ban all such businesses from the town's strip malls,
Proponents said it was a safety issue; the day-care center shown above, behind the yellow pillars, isn't in Missouri City, it's in Houston (it used to be two doors down from a bar, so we always took notice), but it shows that sometimes these things can be a tough fit.
Opponents questioned whether any kids had been hurt in strip-mall day-care centers.
"Robin [Elackatt]brought up the point last time (of) how many children had been injured," said [Mayor Allen] Owen. "I don't want a single one injured. I don't want to ever say, well, yeah, there was one that was killed in the parking lot. I would rather say there has never been any, we don't want any and we are going to pass this law to make sure it doesn't happen....I am making my decision out of my heart."
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The three members who opposed the vote said it would send out the wrong message about Mo City. Said Elackattt:
Election cycle after election cycle people tell us how hard it is to do business in Missouri City. We don't even have a business alliance or a chamber. You go out into the business community and it's the same - 'Missouri City is so unfriendly to do business.' It's the planning and zoning, or whatever it is, I know we are changing that, we are fixing that, but at the same time we are restricting people.
Strip malls all across Houston have day-care centers in them. We've always thought it was odd, but it is cheaper than buying or renting a separate building.
We don't see Mo City's ordinance happening here anytime soon, to be sure.