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Cape Harbour residents crowd city chambers

By Staff | Mar 29, 2010

An ongoing noise complaint from one Cape Harbour resident caused dozens of his high-rise neighbors to pack council chambers Monday to defend the mixed use development, which has quickly become one of the more popular places for not only residents but the general public.
Just as quickly, the battle between the two sides has grown heated, as it fast approaches litigation.
Jim Stevens wants to tone down Tuesday evenings at Cape Harbour, which feature a combination of motorcycles and live music.
The noise, Stevens said, is far removed from what he thought he was getting when he purchased his condominium, which he assumed was a quiet, peaceful setting for his retirement.
“I’m not trying to put anyone out of business,” Stevens said, an oil and gas producer from Michigan. “All I’m asking is to take the music inside and pipe it outside so people can dance, and to move the motorcycles.”
Stevens has even gone as far to say he was duped when he purchased his condominium, something Laura Straus from Realmark Development adamantly refutes.
She said that Realmark offered him another unit, even urged him that Cape Harbour might not be the best fit for him.
Straus said that Stevens knew all along that live music was part of Cape Harbour’s goal.
“We started the live music before his closing,” Straus said, who is vice president of sales and marketing for Realmark. She also closed on Stevens’ condo. “We even told him we didn’t think he would enjoy living at Cape Harbour.”
Other than the condominiums themselves, the project and the land is owned by developer and Realmark owner Will Stout.
Those grounds are open to the public, according to Stout, a factor that has made Cape Harbour one of the city’s go-to spots for events like poker runs and the popular New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Stevens has maintained that Tuesday’s events, as well as those on Friday and Saturday, are violating the city’s noise ordinances.
Stout said that Cape Harbour has been cleared of any alleged violations, and will continue to be a magnet for residents and the public to have a good time, which was Cape Harbour’s mission all along.
“We’re abiding by all laws and cooperating with the city,” Stout said. “We want people to come out, we want everybody to come out and have a good time with us.”
Stevens said he’s had the noise level professionally tested, and it reaches levels of 90 decibles. Having fought what he sees as an injustice for two years, he said he will keep pushing until he gets his way.
“I’m crazy enough to keep fighting,” Stevens said.