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Haines City neighbors upset over sports complex moving in

Posted at 8:10 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-28 20:10:14-04

HAINES CITY, Fla. -- A multi-million dollar sports complex is gong up in Haines City.

It’s a part of the Balamoral Resort, a three-phase community which had originally planned to build 30 homes, not a soccer field.

But last fall, the resort landed a deal and decided to build the sports complex instead.

Neighbors say they had no choice in the matter and now have to live just feet from tournaments, games and cheering crowds.

“They deceived us,” said Julius Dinnwiddie, who moved down to Florida for retirement recently.

He said he won’t even be able to relax with games going on just on the other side of a fence.

“It’s right in our backyard,” he said.

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Traffic, trash, crowds and crime seems to be what neighbors are concerned with.

What they are even more concerned with, they tell ABC Action News, is that the city didn’t properly notify them.

“If everyone would have gotten the letter as they say, everyone would have been up there,” Dinnwiddie said.

According to other neighbors, since the lights have erupted and neighbors are more aware, dozens have come out against the sports complex.

“My biggest concern is noise,” RH Cook, who has lived on West Graham Circle for more than 50 years.

Neighbors also say they fear their home values could decrease.

When ABC Action News asked the city if the mailers were indeed sent out, the city said 54 notifications were sent in June of 2018, the hearing was held in August and only a handful of residents showed up. Some mailers were sent back, but the city insists they were mailed out to neighbors living within 300 feet of the future complex.

Balmoral Resort will be footing the bill for an eight foot fence around the facility, according to Haines City.

Now that there isn’t a lot residents can do, they ask for one thing, a bigger fence and something to block the noise.

“If they could put up sound barriers to eliminate,” Dinnwiddie said.