The change.org petition posted today states, “Cheshire Bridge is a thriving community and represents the diversity of Atlanta but a few residents would like to see the district change to “family-friendly” by restricting “adult businesses.” These businesses are legal and constitutional providing jobs and a tax base for the City of Atlanta. The businesses targeted respect the law and their surrounding neighbors and should not be forced out by people hoping their property values will increase. Cheshire Bridge is a safe community and provides diversity and money to the City of Atlanta.”
The city’s Zoning Committee is expected to take up the issue on May 29 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall. Those on the Zoning Committee are Chair Keisha Lance Bottoms; Vice Chair Alex Wan, who is the author of the proposed legislation; Carla Smith, Joyce Sheperd, Howard Shook and Ivory Lee Young Jr.
The full City Council is expected to vote on the legislation on June 3.
The controversial legislation proposed by Wan is an attempt to finally make real a 1999 vision statement that wanted to bring in new development and give the area a facelift that includes stripping out strip joints and other adult businesses.
In 2005, the City Council approved the zoning changes that halted any new adult businesses and ensured new businesses would pay attention to aesthetics, such as landscaping and curb appeal. Businesses such as Inserection and Southern Nights, adult novelty stores popular with many LGBT patrons, were grandfathered in and safe from the zoning changes. Until now.