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Cathedral City couple turns to city over noisy gym neighbor complaint

Neighbors growing upset with nearby g...

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - A couple in Cathedral City says they "can't take it anymore". They say "loud, booming sounds" are coming from a health club next door.

CBS Local 2 "Stands for You", so Tom Tucker responded to their call for help.

Nick and Erin Stone stood in the driveway of their Cathedral City condo, inside the Cathedral Canyon Country Club. Their home sits just about 40 feet away from the In-Shape health club, on the other side of the wall.
The Stones say the gym and its members are not good neighbors.

"It's been going on for 16 months, with no improvement, in fact, its gotten worse," said Nick.

For several months, the Stones say they've been complaining to the gym, and the city, about health club members dropping heavy weights while working out.

They say it happens as late as 11 o'clock at night, and as early as 4 o'clock in the morning, making it "nearly impossible" to get a good night's sleep.

The couple says it's "sounds and feels like bowling balls" are being dropped on their roof.

Nick, a retired lawyer, says they've been documenting everything, and doing some research.

He has been keeping what he calls a "noise log".  His notes for Wednesday, March 16th, shows the sounds beginning at 4:34 in the morning, and then occurring every couple of minutes, for the next couple of hours.

He says he and his wife have talked with a sound engineer, who told him the sound is called "ground-borne vibrational noise", which travels underground, and comes up through the foundation of their home, causing the walls and ceiling to reverberate.

"We've made an investment here.  We've done things, its a home for us, with all that entails," said Nick.

Stone says he's also used an app on his phone to measures decibel levels from the dropping weights, and he says his readings have consistently reached the "eighties and nineties".

On one decibel chart, 80 is equivalent to the sound of a screaming child.

Nick and Erin contend the gym is violating city noise ordinances, and they say the neighbors in their fourplex are also complaining.

"Intolerable is the word, it really is," said Nick.  

A manager at In-Shape would not comment on camera, but directed us to contact their corporate office.

I called the main office twice, but my phone calls were not returned.

Meanwhile, the Community Development Director for Cathedral City, Pat Milos says the city has been investigating the Stone's complaints.

He says he's trying to serve as a "mediator" between the couple and the gym, but acknowledges finding a solution to satisfy both sides may not be possible.

He says he's "confident" the club is not violating city noise ordnances.

"When you buy a house, and you're that close to a commercial business, you're going to have some impact from that business, and that's acceptable," said Milos.

Milos says In-Shape has taken steps to reduce sound and vibrations coming from the gym, and says he's waiting for the gym to install new special flooring before the city reviews the situation again.

"We've tried to interject ourselves into the process to find some common ground with both parties in this case," said Milos.

What if the restless nights continue for the Stones?

"We'll have to move and hope we can sell to somebody who doesn't mind what we've endured," said Stone.

CBS Local 2 will keep you updated on the story.

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