Wan’s attempt to boot adult businesses from Cheshire Bridge falls short

But could his political stance help him in the long run?


Cheshire Bridge Road’s adult businesses will remain a part of the northeast Atlanta commercial strip for the foreseeable future.

The Atlanta City Council voted yesterday against two ordinances proposed by Councilman Alex Wan that would have forced adult video stores, strip clubs, and sex shops to find a new home.

In a statement, Wan said he was disappointed after spending months championing the legislation, which would have required adult businesses to comply with special zoning restrictions or move by 2018. Despite taking his fair share of flak in the process, he said he would “remain committed” to improving Cheshire Bridge Road in other ways.

“The two rezoning papers I introduced would have made it easier for the residents, businesses and other stakeholders along Cheshire Bridge Road to further revitalize the business corridor,” Wan said in a statement. “The changes would have allowed for businesses more compatible with the needs of the community, and restrict those that are incompatible with the surrounding neighborhoods.”

Wan had received support from several neighborhood associations, the area’s Neighborhood Planning Unit, the city’s law department, and the city’s planning department. But he couldn’t overcome growing concerns over the bad precedent the legislation would possibly set.

During yesterday’s packed Council meeting, Wan boiled all the arguments down to his fellow councilmembers and asked:

At the end of the day, the question before you is simple: are we community people who support the efforts a community takes to improve our city through planning and visioning? The business owners and neighborhoods have done exactly what we’ve asked them to. They did a study, created a plan, enacted zoning, they looked for tools to realize that vision...They have done their part. The question is: will we?

Nevertheless, his pleas fell short in a 6 to 9 vote. Those who voted against the Cheshire Bridge ordinances were Councilmembers Kwanza Hall, Ivory Lee Young, Jr., Cleta Winslow, Natalyn Archibong, Howard Shook, Yolanda Adrean, Felicia Moore, C.T. Martin and Joyce Sheperd. Project Q Atlanta nicely explained the rationale behind Martin and Moore’s votes: