CrossFit Discussion Board  

Go Back   CrossFit Discussion Board > Community > Running a CrossFit Facility
CrossFit Home Forum Site Rules CrossFit FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-01-2012, 07:26 PM   #1
Jason M Struck
Member Jason M Struck is offline
 
Jason M Struck's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: richmond  va
Posts: 893
Help with noise complaints?

When selecting our new site, we dotted our I's and crossed our T's.

We chose a neighborhood in our town that is ONLY industrial. Our neighbor has a special use permit to run loft apartments out of their previously warehouse space.

I think the concrete slab between us and them is continuous, and they are complaining about the 'thuds' from dropped barbells.

We've built a platform that is 2x4s deep, allowing us to layer carpet padding and plywood under the usual stall mats. It helps a lot for the vibrations, but it sucks for our lifters. The weights sink in to the soft surface.

What I am asking: the police and the zoning office have confirmed that we are cool. HOWEVER, our neighbors are threatening to sue because they are losing the tenant that shares a wall with us.

What chances do they have of winning such a case? Have any of you been in this situation? Are any of you lawyers, looking to help an affiliate out pro-bono?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 04:59 AM   #2
Brian Strump
Affiliate Brian Strump is offline
 
Brian Strump's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charlotte  NC
Posts: 2,619
Re: Help with noise complaints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Struck View Post
When selecting our new site, we dotted our I's and crossed our T's.

We chose a neighborhood in our town that is ONLY industrial. Our neighbor has a special use permit to run loft apartments out of their previously warehouse space.

I think the concrete slab between us and them is continuous, and they are complaining about the 'thuds' from dropped barbells.

We've built a platform that is 2x4s deep, allowing us to layer carpet padding and plywood under the usual stall mats. It helps a lot for the vibrations, but it sucks for our lifters. The weights sink in to the soft surface.

What I am asking: the police and the zoning office have confirmed that we are cool. HOWEVER, our neighbors are threatening to sue because they are losing the tenant that shares a wall with us.

What chances do they have of winning such a case? Have any of you been in this situation? Are any of you lawyers, looking to help an affiliate out pro-bono?
1. What the police say really doesn't matter. If zoning says you're good, then it comes down to a judge....eventually. What about your landlord?

2. I'm still amazed at the number of affiliates that do not consider noise to be one of the most important detractors from a space to consider.

3. Winning a case may not be the hard part....Even if you knew 100% that you'd win. It's still an awful lot of time, and money to get there.

4. Pro bono lawyers? That's an oxymoron, correct?
__________________
Brian Strump, D.C., FMS, NKT
www.crossfitsteelecreek.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 10:17 AM   #3
Jason M Struck
Member Jason M Struck is offline
 
Jason M Struck's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: richmond  va
Posts: 893
Re: Help with noise complaints?

Good points Brian.

We were VERY concerned with noise. We tried to confirm with our landlord that we'd not have a problem with the building next door, and he assured us that we wouldn't, but he obviously didn't do his homework.

We also chose an industrial space in an industrial zone for this same reason.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
Ian Nigh
Affiliate Ian Nigh is offline
 
Ian Nigh's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Kensington  MD
Posts: 948
Re: Help with noise complaints?

Out of consideration for our neighbors, we build a 6" deep platform. You can see pics in this thread:

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=71938 WFS

While it did alot to reduce vibration, they all say the noise is pretty much the same. Luckily, its a sheet metal shop below us and they dont really mind.

We were very hesitant to take a second level space at first and got clear confirmation in writing from the landlords and the other tenants that noise would not be an issue. Even so, they all reacted with "we didn't think it would be THAT loud!" after the first heavy O lifting day! Fast forward a year and everyone has grown used to it.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
Jason M Struck
Member Jason M Struck is offline
 
Jason M Struck's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: richmond  va
Posts: 893
Re: Help with noise complaints?

Our 4" platform WORKS.

It's just we need 5 more of them, and I can't afford to build them all right this second.

furthermore, I am seeking clarity, to which Brian above added some but not much: can this guy really sue me if I am doing everything 'right' and he's just butt hurt and taking me to civil court, and if so, what are his odds?

My landlord is behind me. The local cops are good. The city is fine. The lofts next door to us have a SPECIAL USE PERMIT so they can have residences in what is typically a NON RESIDENCE ZONE.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-2012, 05:58 PM   #6
Brian Strump
Affiliate Brian Strump is offline
 
Brian Strump's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charlotte  NC
Posts: 2,619
Re: Help with noise complaints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Struck View Post
Our 4" platform WORKS.

It's just we need 5 more of them, and I can't afford to build them all right this second.

furthermore, I am seeking clarity, to which Brian above added some but not much: can this guy really sue me if I am doing everything 'right' and he's just butt hurt and taking me to civil court, and if so, what are his odds?

My landlord is behind me. The local cops are good. The city is fine. The lofts next door to us have a SPECIAL USE PERMIT so they can have residences in what is typically a NON RESIDENCE ZONE.
My point is that if the DA sees that a lawsuit is not frivolous, you will need to fight it. That costs both money and time. Either way, you've lost time, and possibly money.

Best case, the landlord would put something in writing regarding your noise, and that it would not be in violation of your lease agreement.
__________________
Brian Strump, D.C., FMS, NKT
www.crossfitsteelecreek.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 10:07 AM   #7
Rob Brown
Member Rob Brown is offline
 
Rob Brown's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Luis Obispo  CA
Posts: 245
Re: Help with noise complaints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Struck View Post
Our 4" platform WORKS.

It's just we need 5 more of them, and I can't afford to build them all right this second.

furthermore, I am seeking clarity, to which Brian above added some but not much: can this guy really sue me if I am doing everything 'right' and he's just butt hurt and taking me to civil court, and if so, what are his odds?

My landlord is behind me. The local cops are good. The city is fine. The lofts next door to us have a SPECIAL USE PERMIT so they can have residences in what is typically a NON RESIDENCE ZONE.
Dang, it seems fairly weak that the 'special use permit' population now jams up local businesses who are operating within the intended zoning use. I'd say you are within your rights and could easily stay, but likely with some legal costs.. Lawyers make great members!

Really, it's your current landlord who should be really ****ed, as he will likely lose a tenant, and future tenants.

I'd show no weakness, and give no indication you think there is a chance you are in the wrong. Give them your lawyers contact information and ask them to stop harassing you.

At some point, you might pitch the idea that they could pay for your relocation, but until that becomes an option it's business as usual.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 02:24 PM   #8
David Allen Rogers
Member David Allen Rogers is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Burlington  NJ
Posts: 147
Re: Help with noise complaints?

If you haven't already, you need to get everything in writing. Get a hard copy of your town's zoning plan and associated regulations. Get hard copies of any police reports related to this and any written documentation you can get that the police have sided with you on past calls. Get a written letter from your landlord supporting you. Get this all ASAP. You'd be amazed how quickly the people who claim to be on your side now will change their minds if this ends up in court.

Brian is right that a lawsuit costs time and money but it also costs the party suing their time and money. The threat of a lawsuit is often just an empty threat that they don't have the funds to follow through on. I used to work for a company that had a legal department that existed solely for the purpose of sending out empty threats that they had no intention of following through on. They did this because the cost of the lawsuit would be greater than the potential gain but most recipients of scary letters written in legalese will back down quickly anyway.

I agree with Rob that your landlord should be your best ally in this. If you lose, he suddenly has light industrial property in a zone where he can't have light industrial tenants that make any noise.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-2012, 10:02 AM   #9
Paul Glezer
Member Paul Glezer is offline
 
Profile:
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Brooklyn  NY
Posts: 80
Re: Help with noise complaints?

If this is a coop or condo of lofts, the cost of a lawsuit would be split between the apts. This will make the cost of filing a suit quite less for each resident than it would be for the affiliate.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 09:09 AM   #10
Jason M Struck
Member Jason M Struck is offline
 
Jason M Struck's Avatar
 
Profile:
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: richmond  va
Posts: 893
Re: Help with noise complaints?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Glezer View Post
If this is a coop or condo of lofts, the cost of a lawsuit would be split between the apts. This will make the cost of filing a suit quite less for each resident than it would be for the affiliate.
This is 23 units owned by one man, who is the one bringing the threat of suit to me. He has one tenant that is backing out of their lease to leave the apartment, citing our noise as the reason why. That tenant called the police multiple times, and the police would always come and leave, giving us no citation and not finding us at fault.

My landlord does feel that we are doing nothing wrong, and wants to maintain the autonomy of his property to be light industrial or anything else it wants to be, within it's legal rights. He has attended most meetings with the neighbor with me, and has attempted to re-establish our right to make these noises at every meeting, while also offering to compromise by splitting the cost of the manufacture of the vibration dampening platforms with the neighbor.

I don't have a lawyer as member today (which is why I tried to solicit the aid of one pro-bono on here), but I have contacts in the police department that assured me we are not in violation of anything. I have copies of M1 zoning regulations, as well as the special use permit application of my neighbor. This is all public record.

I am left to assume that this would be a civil case, in which my neighbor would attempt to sue my landlord for damages, wherein he would attempt to prove that renting my business in that location unnecessarily caused him hardship and more to the point, lost rent. I don't think such a suit is 'frivolous', I do in fact believe we are directly contributing to the dissatisfaction of some of his tenants. The problem stems from the fact that he built apartments immediately adjacent to a factory, and has tried to assure his tenants that they would not experience any noises from their proximity to us, which he can never guarantee. He did nothing to protect himself from such hardships. There is a parking garage within the property, but instead of making it the full length of our shared wall, they chose to squeeze in another apartment that SHARES a wall with us. Instead of choosing to put a room like the kitchen against that wall, they chose to place the bedroom against that wall.
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Noise complaints Brian Strump Running a CrossFit Facility 10 10-01-2012 07:01 PM
Receiving too many noise complaints... Andrew Bueno Running a CrossFit Facility 8 06-08-2009 12:33 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.