Who would win in a fight: an outdoor music venue in Hialeah supported by Club Space or a small, Mayberry-like city full of residents who value their sleep?
The answer to that question will come soon enough in Miami-Dade County circuit court, as the tiny City of Miami Springs has sued Factory Town, an outdoor music venue in the industrial sector of Hialeah surrounded by auto-body and metalworking shops, where loud parties during Miami Art Week in December kept neighboring Miami Springs residents up into the wee hours.
At the time of the parties, the Miami Springs official Instagram stated in a post that the city would seek legal remedies after hundreds of people called police complaining about loud noise. While some residents thought their neighbors must have been bumping tunes because the music sounded so close, the bass was actually coming from nearly two miles away as the crow flies.
In a Facebook post announcing the lawsuit this week, Miami Springs said its attorneys attempted to contact Factory Town to demand it reduce the noise but did not receive a response.
"Accordingly, in an effort to protect the Miami Springs community from continued and future nuisances, on Friday, January 21, 2022 the City Attorney filed a lawsuit on behalf of the City of Miami Springs against Factory Town to enjoin Factory Town from causing further nuisances," the city stated on its public Facebook page. "The City will continue to pursue all avenues to protect its residents and avoid future disturbances."
Avra Jain, one of the owners of Factory Town, says the venue owners received no communications from Miami Springs and adds that no one in Hialeah near the venue complained about the events as they were going on.
"It's not like police came and said anything to us. We're not sure to what extent the problem existed," Jain tells New Times.
Nevertheless, she says, she and the event producers who occupy Factory Town will do what they can to reduce the volume in the future and to reach a resolution with their neighboring town.
"We're a thoughtful group; we will find a solution," Jain says. "We've taken this seriously because we care. We're members of this community."
Factory Town has hired Greenspoon Marder LLP to represent the venue in the lawsuit. Greenspoon Marder attorney Louis J. Terminello tells New Times the owners have brought on professionals to test their sound equipment to see how to mitigate noise.
"In response to this, we have engaged the services of sound-system engineers to conduct sound studies and speaker system studies," Terminello says. "These professionals who we have worked with for many years on many other projects can work with us on noise attenuation and can — with the cooperation of the complaining citizens — measure noise levels during testing."
Terminello hastens to add that Factory Town is fully permitted and in compliance with the laws of Hialeah, complaints from Miami Springs notwithstanding.
"That being said, we will do what we can that's scientifically possible, but it is an outdoor venue and a one-weekend event, and we are 100 percent in compliance with all the statutes, rules, and regulations of the city in which we're located," Terminello says.
Musician and music promoter Andrew McLees lives in Miami Springs and was at home when the December parties were held at Factory Town. He says he and his partner could feel the bass reverberating through their windows from their home not far from Miami International Airport.
"Back in December, we all endured multiple sleepless nights. It probably lasted five nights or so, and it was pretty relentless," McLees tells New Times.
After the City of Miami Springs first posted on Instagram about the noise issues, McLees was shocked to see then-Hialeah City Councilman Oscar de la Rosa comment on the post, mocking the city for complaining about the event.
"Okay, Karen," De la Rosa wrote from his verified Instagram account.
recently stepped down as councilman, fulfilling a promise to resign to avoid a perceived conflict of interest owing to the election of his stepfather, Esteban "Steve" Bovo, as mayor of Hialeah.)
"It was arrogant and dismissive and the opposite of how we should expect a city councilman to respond," McLees contends. "It seems as though this person is more concerned with developing land than listening to people who live near there."
Neither the City of Miami Springs nor the City of Hialeah responded to New Times' requests for comment via email and phone call.
Factory Town is scheduled to hold another music event, Get Lost Miami, on Saturday, March 26, during Miami Music Week. In its complaint, the City of Miami Springs asks for a temporary injunction to cancel the event while the case remains unresolved.