Judge won’t stop Miami Grand Prix despite residents’ pleas

Despite efforts by Miami Gardens residents, judge rules Formula 1 race will go

MIAMI – A judge has denied a request by residents of a South Florida city who were concerned about the noise level associated with a Formula 1 race set for next month.

Some residents in 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 evidence presented by the residents is “highly speculative" and any potential harm could be offset by staying indoors or wearing ear plugs.

Fine said the lawsuit could continue after the event, potentially affecting 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 events permit. City officials said they intend to comply, but did not specify a time frame, the newspaper reported.

“My clients are doing nothing but living in their day to day lives in their homes that they’ve owned for decades and paid taxes on,” attorney Samuel Dubbin, told WPLG. “It’s the defendants, particularly the stadium defendants, and the city as well, who are about to violate the law and cause them harm.”

The residents claimed the race violates the city's noise ordinance, which bans unreasonable noise that disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort of its residents.

But attorneys for the stadium said the ordinance offers exceptions for events benefiting the city. They also said there is no evidence the race would cause harm.

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

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

Fine ruled that at least one of the measurements should be taken offsite “at a distance equivalent to the closest plaintiff’s house," the Herald reported.

“By deferring until after the first race a preliminary injunction hearing for future races, we will have the ability, or the parties will have the ability, to know exactly what the noise levels are in fact,” the judge said.