Dance studio

Approved dance studio in former Ward School building | Hartsville

The Trousdale County Zoning Appeals Board granted a waiver to operate a dance studio in the former Ward School building at its June 7 meeting.

The request came from Sarah Murray, who operates the Lajoy Dance Studio in the building, which was once the Trousdale County School for Black children before desegregation.

Murray told the board she currently has 25 students in eight classes, ranging from ages 4 to 17. She wanted the opportunity to expand her classes.

“I’m hoping to continue teaching, trying to teach ballet, and I want to add more classes,” Murray told the board.

The current zoning of the property allows special derogations that have cultural, recreational or educational services, based on current regulations.

“Ward School was used for civic things, was taken over as a community center,” President Dwight Jewell said. “I think that would fit what they’re trying to use it for.”

Council also heard requests from three landowners on Beasley Bend Road seeking to exempt their properties from setback requirements. Agricultural zoned residences, such as these, require 40 feet of setback to the side, but all owners were asking for exemptions up to 20 feet.

The board declined to grant the exemption, citing the potential to set a precedent. Jewell noted that the council would reconsider applications if owners could demonstrate on paper the need for such an exemption and that various exemptions had already been granted based on need.

He also noted that if homes were built with sprinkler systems, the setback requirement would automatically drop to 20 feet based on better fire protection.

Council members also reapproved plans for a Verizon cell tower on Highway 10. Council had approved an application in July 2020, but that authorization automatically expires after one year.

Contact Chris Gregory at 615-450-5756 or [email protected]