Atlanta's ZRB rejects Cheshire Bridge ordinances targeting adult businesses

Both ordinances will head to City Council's Zoning Committee on May 29


  • Max Blau
  • Protesters came equipped with 'Say no to Alex Wan' signs

Cheshire Bridge's adult establishments received a shot in the arm last night against two ordinances that could threaten their future.

Atlanta's Zoning Review Board voted against two proposals that would have booted strip clubs, sex shops, and adult video stores from the bustling corridor. The decision came as supporters and critics packed City Council's chambers to the brim for the meeting.

After hearing a brief presentation from the Office of Planning, which recommended the legislation, the ZRB's members listened to arguments from each side regarding Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan's proposals that target what many consider the city's red light district.

Neighborhood Planning Unit F chair Jane Rawlings, who presided over a recent meeting in support of Wan's efforts, told ZRB members that Cheshire Bridge's adult businesses drive down property values, cause higher vacancy rates, and claimed that the ordinances affect "1 percent" of the corridor's businesses. A number of other residents also expressed their concerns about the adult establishments' negative effects on the surrounding communities. "We live there," said another resident. "We have to deal with what goes on there 24/7."

"We're fed up with not being able to walk to the many wonderful restaurants and retail establishments that are available on Cheshire Bridge Road because we don't want to push our children in a stroller past a strip club," said Courtney Harkness, president of the Morningside Elementary School's Parent Teacher Association.

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