Louisville neighbors try to shut down wedding venue

Louisville neighbors try to shut down wedding venue

Posted:
Neighbors are trying to close down a wedding venue in Blount County and town officials are taking their side. It's an historic home called Meadhaven on the water in Louisville. Neighbors are trying to close down a wedding venue in Blount County and town officials are taking their side. It's an historic home called Meadhaven on the water in Louisville.
By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

LOUISVILLE (WATE) - Neighbors are trying to close down a wedding venue in Blount County and town officials are taking their side. It's an historic home called Meadhaven on the water in Louisville.

The problem is that the area is zoned residential and town officials say the business isn't allowed. After complaints from neighbors about noise and traffic, the town told the owner last fall she had to stop, but the weddings started up again this spring.

Meadhaven has been in the Cox family since 1851. When Kerela Cox's husband died a few years back, she began looking for ways to keep the place running. Friends told her it was the perfect spot for weddings, so she started last August.

"I've made so may people happy with this. It seemed like a happy ending for me to keep on," Cox said.

"We've gotten a lot of complaints from people around them because of the noise," said Louisville alderman Robert Smith.

Louisville's board of mayor and aldermen sent cox a letter last fall, telling her to stop renting out her property.

"Because it is zoned residential, they're not allowed to operate a business in that area," Smith said.

Cox says her lawyers told her she could continue.

"It's a couple of hours once or twice a month. I think it should be okay," Cox said.

Many of her neighbors disagree.

"I've lost what I bought. I lost a beautiful place on the lake, nice and quiet, and it's gone on the weekends," said Larry Delf. "I hope she doesn't start booking Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. I think it's worse than having a bar in the neighborhood."
 
Cox says she's taking steps to deal with the noise, trying to build her own sound barriers, and hoping to for a compromise.

"I really wish we could straighten this out, I really do," Cox said.
 
The town of Louisville is considering taking legal action against Meadhaven, if one last shot at talking to Cox and her lawyers doesn't work. The mayor says she can always seek to rezone her property in order to legally hold weddings there.
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