Santa Clara

Santa Clara Property Owners Push School Next Door to Build Sound Wall And Pay For It

A couple that owns an apartment building near Santa Clara University is under fire for pushing a Catholic school to build a sound wall — and pay for it.

A three-year fight stemming from noise in the St. Clare schoolyard has now turned into a legal battle in which some students are being sued.

John and Debra Bridges describe themselves as kind and sweet apartment owners, but say they are tired of hearing what’s going on next to their building.

“After-school programs and summer programs” are particularly loud, Debra Bridges said, as are children who play outside and “counselors yelling and screaming.”

She added: “We're not the only one's complaining. There are professors who live in this apartment complex who've written letters.”

The couple says they tried asking the school to put up a barrier – and they did. But the noise is still too loud, resulting in a push to build a concrete wall.

But some parents whose children attend the school aren't happy.

“This is ridiculous,” said parent Al Mata.

Parents say the apartment owners have been aggressive in getting their wall built and now want to sic the bill on someone else. They also claim the couple videotaped the kids just to prove that they do yell.

“These are kids,” Mata said. “What do you expect a kid to do?”

The battle has been in the courts for years. Even Mata’s two sons are being sued. According to the claim, they made too much noise on the playground.

“They’re not going to be happy until there's a wall, and who knows if that's good enough,” Mata said.

School officials say they cannot comment on this issue because of the ongoing legal case.

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