One hundred south Chandler residents tired of noise from a nearby jet-engine testing facility have filed two lawsuits against developers, claiming fraudulent misrepresentation, consumer fraud and other violations.
The complaint comes from the new subdivision of Sun Groves, which borders the Gila River Indian Community. Honeywell's jet-engine testing facility several miles to the southeast has disrupted the neighborhood, residents have said. The two suits are against developers Standard Pacific and Continental Homes.
"It's extremely loud noise. It's very bothersome," said 31-year-old Tammie Greve. "I would not have bought here if they told me about it."
Greve, like other residents who have joined the lawsuit, said she could not comment further.
Brian Bergen, a Scottsdale lawyer representing residents in both lawsuits, said Standard Pacific and Continental should have told prospective home buyers about the facility from the beginning. State law requires developers and real estate agents to disclose information about the surrounding area that may affect the neighborhood.
"It's the developers who are in far superior position to have all the information about the surrounding land," Bergen said. "It's hard to believe they would go through the research and due diligence to find out about this land and not notice this jet-testing facility and the noise attributed to it."
Standard Pacific and Continental should make up for the loss in property value and decline in quality of life, Bergen said. The lawsuits do not specify an amount of financial compensation, he said.
First filed in February in Maricopa County Superior Court and amended over the past few days, the lawsuits are the latest of a growing number of complaints against the developers regarding disclosure about the jet-testing facility.
Since last fall, the Arizona Department of Real Estate has received 14 complaints about the situation, including one from the Southeast Valley Regional Association of Realtors.
In addition to Sun Groves, the complaints also involve the subdivisions of Solera, Riggs Ranch Meadows, Springfield Lakes and Mesquite Grove Estates. The other developers include Richmond American Homes and Pulte Homes.
The state is still looking into the complaints, said Liz Carrasco, a spokeswoman for the Department of Real Estate.
Investigators must determine whether the developers knew of the facility, whether there was a reasonable opportunity to discover it, whether it affects the neighborhoods in question and whether the developers made the proper disclosure.
Developers may have to pay a fine, stop selling homes in the area or rewrite their public reports about the land if the department finds any wrongdoing, Carrasco said. However, residents would not be able to get compensation through this process, she said.
Standard Pacific representatives did not return several calls Tuesday. Ben Mansperger, Continental vice president of sales and marketing, said through his assistant that he would not comment.
Honeywell has tested engines on stands — planes are not flown there — at the facility for about 40 years and has received only two complaints about noise in the last 20 years, company representatives said. The engines can be tested for days at a time and then shut down for a length of time, they said.