In response to the Lake Lanier Tea House dock rezoning

Published 9:45 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

To the editor:

As a full time Lake Lanier resident whose home is directly across from the Tea House and dock, I experienced four years of illegal commercial use of the dock, especially the live entertainment.

We enjoyed the quiet restaurant operated by the Kerhulas family and were saddened by Theo’s passing in 2005. The dock replacement in 2007 brought a whole new dimension to the restaurant. Between then and the Tea House closing in 2011, city/county ordinances and zoning were violated on a regular basis usually involving the dock.

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Even after the operators were notified, the offenses continued, I don’t understand why. The main issue was the noise from the live entertainment sometimes until 2 a.m. We could hear and feel their music inside our house. We tried to ignore it, but found it was infringing on our lives. We found that our neighbors had the same issue.

Greenville County deputies came, measured the noise, issued tickets and the entertainment moved from the dock, to the patio, then inside so that it was not audible.

The majority of full time Lake Lanier residents are people with jobs. We expect the nights to be quiet with weekends to enjoy the lake and work around the house. This is not possible with commercial activity on any Lake Lanier dock. We respected the Tea House as a commercial restaurant and expected the same for our residential life. Anyone with residential property anywhere should expect the same.

If the zoning is actually changed, it would have to be by Greenville County and the county noise ordinance would still be in enforced.

In 2004, the Town of Tryon Board of Adjustments denied a petition for the Tea House owners to build a new larger dock to serve guests on it. The only developments since are there is a new dock and the Tea House has been closed for five years. This 2016 petition for commercial dock use should be denied for the same reasons. We don’t need any commercial activity and its byproducts at the lake; it would set a precedent and open the doors for other business activity. Once anything is zoned commercial, it is very difficult to undo. There are many more reasons to reject this zoning that I did not include. Lake Lanier is a residential neighborhood!

Come to the Tryon Council Public Hearing at 6 p.m. on September 20, listen and speak up.

If you are in agreement with me, please email your thoughts or a simple “Against Tea House Dock Rezoning” (especially if you cannot attend the meeting) to

~ Stu Davidson