Judge does not stop Miami Grand Prix despite pleas from residents

MIAMI (AP) — A judge has rejected a petition from residents of a South Florida town who were concerned about noise levels related to a Formula 1 race scheduled for next month.

Some residents of Miami Gardens said the Miami Grand Prix, which takes place May 6-8 at Hard Rock Stadium, could damage their hearing.

But Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Alan Fine ruled Wednesday that the evidence presented by residents is “highly speculative” and that any damage could be compensated by staying indoors or wearing earplugs.

Fine said the lawsuit could be continued after the event, with possible ramifications for other races, the Miami Herald reported. The city has a 10-year deal with Hard Rock Stadium to hold the race annually.

The deal includes a $5 million community benefits package for the city, which has yet to issue a required special event permit. City officials said they planned to comply but did not specify a timetable, the paper reported.

“My clients do nothing but go about their daily lives in their homes that they have owned and paid taxes on for decades,” attorney Samuel Dubbin told WPLG. “It is the defendants, especially the stadium defendants, and also the city, who are on the verge of breaking the law and causing them harm.”

Residents claimed the race violates the city’s noise ordinance, which prohibits unreasonable noise that disrupts, injures or endangers residents’ comfort.

But stadium lawyers said the ordinance provides exceptions for events that benefit the city. They also said there is no evidence that the race would cause any damage.

The judge said neither side offered evidence of actual noise levels during the race and ordered noise monitoring for the event.

Hard Rock Stadium attorney Melissa Pallet-Vasquez told the judge there is already an agreement with Miami Gardens to measure noise levels at stadium events.

Fine ruled that at least one of the measurements should be taken outside the site “at a distance equivalent to the nearest plaintiff’s home,” the Herald reported.

“By delaying a preliminary hearing for future races until after the first race, we will be able, or the parties will, have the opportunity to know exactly what the noise levels actually are,” the judge said.

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