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The University of Miami is known as a top-tier party school. You know it, I know it, anyone who has ever heard the words “college” or “partying” or “Miami” knows it. So, if you happen to be a non-college student who lives on the outskirts of campus, you should probably expect a little bit of shenanigry and maybe even a touch of tomfoolery to occur on a fairly regular basis. Unfortunately, some of the folks in the Glenvar Heights community must have not gotten the memo about Miami and are not at all too pleased at the raucous ragers that have been going down at a 15-person off-campus fraternity house in the area.
From ABC Local 10:
“The students are constantly having these late-night parties, you know, walking drunk aimlessly,” neighbor Jessica Cruz said.
“At the moment there’s, I believe, 15 UM students living there. They all belong to a fraternity,” she said, referring to a large home in the 5500 block of Southwest 67th Avenue.
Cruz said a handful of developers have bought up properties and some are building large multi-bedroom homes that are essentially off-campus dorms.
Pictures show large parties. Neighbors complain of late-night speeding and drunken behavior, particularly at the home on Southwest 67th Avenue. Last year during a UM football game, several school buses took people to the home for a party.
Photographs show cars parked haphazardly in yards and on the street, trash piles attracting rodents and even portable bathrooms in one yard.
Police have been called to at least one of the homes several times, and Local 10 found several noise violation citations have been issued and paid.
Seems like a standard off-campus house situation to me. But hey, wet blankets gonna wet blanket. And like wet blankets do, these angry community members clumped together for some good ol’ fashioned fun sucking.
Cruz and other neighbors have joined together to hire an attorney. They have sent petitions to the county and written letters expressing their frustrations.
She said renters have pushed back.
“One of the neighbors was actually approached by the students and they kind of threatened him and said, ‘Stop taking pictures. Our landlord is well-connected with the county and nothing is going to happen to him,'” Cruz said.
The home on Southwest 67th Avenue is owned by Julio Del Rey. He and his brother, Jorge Del Rey, own several properties in the area and the family is also politically connected. Their sister, Marcia Del Rey, is a Miami-Dade County judge.
District 7 Commissioner Xavier Suarez told Viteri there is no special treatment in this case.
“We’re not influenced by any powerful person,” Suarez said.
Local 10 learned the Del Rey brothers contributed $10,000 each to the campaign of the commissioner’s son, Francis Suarez, who was since elected mayor of Miami.
Commissioner Suarez told Viteri he was not aware of any contributions and said the county has taken action.
That was quite the interesting pushback tactic from Team Party House. We’ve all seen the “Do you know who my dad is?” move. But “Do you know who my landlord is?” is on another level. Let’s see if that ended up working for them (spoiler: it did not).
In February, the county sent a cease-and-desist letter to Julio Del Rey threatening a lawsuit, saying the home, which has 15 tenants, violates single family residential zoning. An attorney for the Del Rey’s pushed back, saying the county has never defined the term “one-family residence.”
“People should have the expectation if they move into a residential neighborhood that they’re not going to have frat houses next to their home,” Commissioner Suarez said.
His attorney, Angel Ruiz, sent a statement, which read, in part, that the house “was legally built and legally leased to the current tenants. … Please note the honorable Marcia Del Rey has no ownership or stake in this property.”
The statement also said Julio Del Rey has now decided not to renew the lease of the current tenants in an effort to be a good neighbor.
Well, that’s a bummer. The wet blankets won. You hate to see it. But it looks like the lease isn’t up until June. Which means that the no-fun neighbors may have won the war, but the off-campus crew still has time to win a good many battles before it’s all said and done..
[via ABC Local 10]
Image via Shutterstock