Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Local Dance Studio

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Could a dispute over parking spaces end up going to the Alabama Supreme Court? The owner of a Huntsville dance studio says that now appears to be her next move after an appeals court ordered her to start providing shuttle bus service for students.

The ruling upholds a previous decision by a Madison County judge, and stems from an ongoing legal battle between Ann’s Studio of Dance and residents of the Mayfair neighborhood, who claim that spillover traffic from the business prevents them from entering or exiting their own driveways.

The appeals court ruled that the shuttle bus service is necessary since the dance studio operates with six fewer parking spaces than city codes require. Studio owner Ann Brown declined to talk on camera, but said the bus provision threatens to put her out of business. Brown’s attorney Gary Wolfe issued a brief statement to WHNT News 19 on Tuesday:

“Ann’s Studio of Dance has served the children of the City of Huntsville at its current location since 1968,” the statement read. “While disappointed with the recent decision by Alabama’s Court of Appeals which confirmed a ruling that parents could not deliver children onto the studio property by automobile, the studio still has hopes this decision will be corrected upon an application for rehearing before the Court of Appeals, or by a request for review by the Alabama Supreme Court. Until such time, the business is allowed to continue its present operation. It is a rarity in today’s world that a small business is able to maintain its presence in the community for over forty-five years. In this case, Ann’s Studio of Dance will make every effort to continue the exemplary service afforded to its students, and to the community, over the last five decades.”

Neighbors we spoke with said they supported the ruling, and hoped it would end years of traffic problems.

“It’s just been overcrowded with cars,” said Mayfair resident Charles Gilliand, who lives right around the corner from the dance studio. “Getting out of your driveway, or just getting down the street, sometimes there’s so many cars you can’t even go down the street, things like that.”

Wolfe said appealing the decision would automatically stay the mandate for shuttle bus service.