Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Local Dance Studio

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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.



  • Suzette Yost VonKamp

    She is trying to drag this out until it is time to retire or throw in the towel. I do not even know her, but she sure has a lot of guts and friends in high places to even get in this predic.iment

  • Jim

    I dont know the ownership of the house south of her and the vacant lot beside it, but If I were Ann I would be trying to buy it and make it a parking lot and this problem is solved.

  • Nuclear Mike

    Guess she is being thrown “under her bus” now by her inside deal going public with her inadequate parking from the beginning…

  • Chuckie39

    I noticed a new restaurant being built on University has been given the same kind of reduced parking spaces deal. Will now be interesting to see how that situation is handled if it causes a problem for other businesses adjacent.

  • Alan Yates

    It seems that she is infringing on the rights of homeowners around her. She needs to get a clue and follow the rules or go out of business…or, move somewhere she has parking. The loss of a ‘dance studio’ is certainly not going to damage the neighborhood in any way. Wake up lady. Your business isn’t wanted and it isn’t needed.

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