Some residents of the Fairway Homes of Doral haven’t been sleeping well lately.
They say noises coming from maintenance crews working on the Doral Golf Resort & Spa are waking them up as early as 5 a.m. some mornings.
“It’s a nightmare. The last complaint I sent to the city was Christmas morning when they woke us up,” said Rocio Villanueva, 50. “They don’t care. They just continue to do what they are doing.”
Residents have complained to the city and to the Donald Trump-owned resort on several occasions about the noise and other issues and spoke at a Jan. 9 general council on the topic.
The city will hold a special council meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall to address possible legal remedies for the dispute between the residents of and the resort.
Residents also feel their golf course views have wrongly been blocked by trees the resort began to plant last year.
The city’s head of code compliance says Doral has tried to take action since receiving the noise complaints.
“The City of Doral has taken an aggressive stance against the Doral Golf Resort concerning the noise violations that have been occurring,” said Albert P. Childress, the director of the city’s code compliance department.
According to Childress, in October 2011 – before the property was purchased by Trump — a special magistrate hearing was held concerning noise violations. The magistrate ruled that the noise ordinance applied and allowed 15 days for the resort to make changes to their operations.
By July 2012 another special magistrate hearing was held. The magistrate found that the resort was not in compliance with the sound ordinance and determined the sound ordinance was applicable to the property. However, the special magistrate waived the fines since the property had because of the change in ownership.
In September a meeting was held with representatives from the resort, the Trump organization and city officials to discuss the ongoing noise violations and to seek a viable solution. At that time the resort was in the process of purchasing equipment that would reduce the noise levels.
By November, an emergency Special Magistrate hearing was held which found the Doral Golf Resort found that 19 violations of the noise ordinance had occurred for a total fine of $28,500 and orders $1,500 fine for any future violations that occur.
That order has been appealed.
In December then-interim city manager Merrett Stierheim had a meeting with Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, Ed Russo, a project consultant, and Darrin Helfrick, general manager at the facility, to explore whether or not the ongoing disputes between the resort and Doral homeowners can be resolved short of litigation.
Russo said the resort has been following the same maintenance schedule as the resort’s previous owners.
“I’m not sure how anybody can hear any of our lawn equipment when the jets are flying right over your head and the shooting range is right around the corner,” said Russo, adding the trees would act as a buffer to soften the noise. “I don’t know how anyone can hear our lawn equipment with all that noise.”
As for the tree issue, Russo said, “We are getting conflicting statements from homeowners."
He said the intention of planting the trees was partly a safety issue with concerns about children running in the golf course, stray balls hitting homes. Other factors such as design, security and privacy were also taken into consideration.