People in the neighborhood of Mayfair are fed up with their traffic woes and are taking their cause to the courts. They have been embroiled in a dispute with Ann Brown, the owner of Ann's Studio of Dance, for years. They claim her heavy traffic flow and lack of parking spaces cause serious congestion on neighborhood streets. Attorney John Brinkley filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of neighborhood residents in an attempt to bring closure to this ongoing issue.
The trouble began several years ago when Brown expanded her business and built a large studio on the property. With only 17 parking spaces, parents sit in line, sometimes circling the block, waiting to pick up their children. The heavy traffic prevents residents from having clear access to their homes.
"They sit there in front of these homes affecting the United States Postal Service to arrive and deliver mail. An ambulance or emergency vehicle could not come down those streets during pick up or drop off time because the traffic congestion is just incredible," explained Brinkley.
The suit alleges that Ann should have never opened a business on the property due to deed restrictions. According to Brinkley, subdivision developer M.H. Lanier included covenants in all neighborhood deeds. The covenants, established in 1938, say there should be no commercial property established on any of the land in the subdivision.
The area has been rezoned for commercial use but Brinkley says that does not matter.
"Even though the city of Huntsville will allow such activity the deed in this case is controlling of the operation of the property."
The suit also names Brown's daughter, Leigh Ann Bender, as a defendant. This is the latest move in the ongoing dispute between Brown and the neighborhood. The group appeared before the Huntsville Board of Zoning Adjustment earlier this year regarding the number of parking spaces on the property; Brown was granted a variance.
"The homeowners just have to take this into their own hands because there is nothing more that the city can do with this problem," explained Brinkley.
In Apri,l the dance teacher was accused of verbally threatening neighboring business owner Melissa Anderson after she called a tow truck to remove several dance students' vehicles from her parking lot. According to Anderson, and the tow truck drivers, Brown charged at Anderson screaming profanity and telling her students to enter the vehicles. In a statement after the incident Anderson says the issue affects not only neighbors but fellow business owners as well.
"Despite written and verbal trespass warnings, Ann continues to come onto my property. Her verbal and physical intimidation of the Mayfair neighborhood, the private homeowners and businesses will stop. Our businesses and homes are not here for her disposal and parking."
Brown was later arrested and is due in court August 23rd. No court date has been set for the lawsuit. We attempted to reach Brown for comment but were told she is out of town.