City keys and beauty queens won’t get in the way of The Donald.
Just weeks after Donald Trump put on the Miss Universe pageant in Doral and was deemed deserving of a key to the city, the mogul filed a lawsuit on Feb. 12 accusing the city of having an “unconstitutional” noise ordinance. The city has yet to be served.
Since August 2014, the city’s code compliance department has issued more than 100 violations to Trump’s resort — Trump National Doral. The bulk of the violations are for making “unreasonably loud noise,” regarding Trump performing grass care, mowing and maintenance activities,” records show.
“The town doesn’t have a noise ordinance of any meaning,” Trump told the Miami Herald on Wednesday. “We need an ordinance that has specific rules and regulations.”
According to Sec. 26-128 of Doral’s charter, the cut-off standard for violating the noise law is “unreasonably loud, excessive, unnecessary or unusual noise.”
“This standard is vague and ambiguous in its definition of prohibited activity, and provides the City’s Code Enforcement Department with unfettered discretion for determining whether a violation exists,” the complaint said.
City Attorney Daniel Espino issued a response via email on Wednesday.
“Instead of striving to resolve the residents’ noise concerns, the Trump Resort has escalated this situation unnecessarily,” Espino said. “Though the City has not been served, I am disappointed that the Resort has filed suit, especially when the City has been working in good faith to protect everyone’s interests. My office intends to defend the City, the Code, and the public welfare. It is, however, my continued hope that the Resort will look to be a good neighbor and resolve this situation amicably.”
He added that while the city is under no obligation to change its code, it has been willing to entertain solutions so long as it is balanced for residents and the resort.
Trump rejects the accusations against his resort, saying that he has “brand new, very quiet, and environmentally friendly equipment.”
“This is the finest resort in the world, you have to cut the grass,” Trump said. “Why is it that we use brand new equipment and get fined, when the people who had the property before me didn’t have any citations?” he said. “Maybe it’s because I have money.”
According to Trump’s legal team, each violation carries a fine of $1,500, and more than $50,000 has already been spent in legal fees to fight the citations.
Trump’s attorneys say they have been pushing the city to amend its noise ordinance since Trump bought the property out of bankruptcy in 2012. Since then, he has invested hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate the golf course, resort and spa.
Ed Russo, Trump’s representative in the community, said the city hasn’t budged in amending “the ordinance to have objective standards.”
“They give us all these violations that can’t be proven. You can’t enforce a law that doesn’t have a standard,” Russo said.
“What is loud? What does that mean? It’s like getting pulled over for going too fast on Northwest 36th Street with no speed limit put in place. What is the speed limit? You can’t enforce something if it’s ‘too blue,’ or if something doesn’t taste ‘right.’ You need to have an objective standard.”
Trump told the Herald he doesn’t know whether the lawsuit will interfere with him getting a key to Doral.
“If it does, this is much more important,” he said. “They may be giving me the key to the city, but I have not been treated right.”