At least six residents of the Presidio Place condos in west Mission Valley have had enough with the noise from the adjacent YMCA just south of Friars Road. So they have sued the YMCA. Plaintiffs Norman Leonard, Raymond Ztella, Carmen Renard, Gary Jimenez, Jamie Vernhes, and Katherine Whitley have a June 1 small-claims court case set at the Clairemont Mesa court. They are seeking $7500 — the maximum amount allowed.
Ms. Whitley sums up their complaints:
"It has disrupted our reasonable expectations of enjoyment in a normal quiet home. It includes: Parking lot noise 24/7 with no security, car alarms going off, and people yelling at each other, car horns honking in impatience to get a spot, loud, window-shaking music in cars pulling into and out of the east lot. It can be 3 a.m. when some people get back to their cars after a night of partying and their loud departures wake us. Police are called but [they arrive] too late to get to the offenders.
"People have urinated on the side of the Y offices so they don't have to go inside to do it during soccer games. They change clothes in the parking lot like it is a locker room. Soccer-field noise is at unreasonable levels for a normal person's sensitivity. Shouts, whistles, screeching, hollering, cheering, and disturbing noises — especially Sunday mornings starting about 7 a.m. They bounce soccer balls off the arena walls, which echo into our bedroom window. We have extreme noise by the children playing on the newly enhanced jungle gym on the east end of the Y, right next to bedrooms and living quarters.
"We on the west side were never personally invited to any meetings to discuss our reaction to having this so close to our homes. During the summer with summer camp, the children's unreasonable noise levels escalate even more. They are now using the soccer field for charity functions...parking in the fire lane during the event.
"Trash has built up over the years and is an eyesore to those on upper condos. They still have not cleaned it. We have to keep our windows closed to try to quiet our living rooms and bedrooms. We cannot enjoy the westerly breezes, which was a feature and benefit of purchasing west-facing condos. Utility bills increase, we are frayed, no one seems to care of our distress."
The Y has no signage asking their members respect the peace and be considerate while on their grounds. They said they would install signs in January 2007. City codes state: "Anything which interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property is a nuisance" and "a public nuisance is one that affects at the same time an entire community of neighborhood, or any considerable number of persons although the extent of the annoyance or damage inflicted upon individuals may be unequal."
According to Whitley, the Y has asked the court for a 70-day postponement so they can investigate the matter. The plaintiffs oppose the delay. In reply to my e-mail asking for the Y's side of the story, the following email was sent by Shelly McTighe-Rippengale, vice president of marketing, communications & development:
"The Mission Valley YMCA is proud to have served San Diego for more than 25 years, and we look forward to continue meeting the wellness needs of our community. Having said that, this matter has been referred to the courts and it would be inappropriate for the YMCA to comment specifically on this action due to the pending litigation."