From Wan’s email:
“After careful deliberation, I have requested that the Planning and Law Departments to submit the following substitute legislation to the Zoning Review Board for consideration at its next meeting on Thursday, May 9, at 6:00 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.”
There are essentially two revisions to each. First, the legislation now applies only to adult businesses within NC-4 and NC-5 (versus all non-conforming uses as originally presented), and second, the amortization period has been extended from two to five years.
It is my hope that the amended legislation, if adopted, will help the corridor realize as much of the vision set forward by the original Cheshire Bridge Task Force Study in 1999 as possible, while further minimizing the number of businesses that would have been negatively impacted by the legislation as it was originally proposed.
As clarification, these new versions are complete substitutes for the previous proposals, which will no longer be under consideration (put another way, these amendments are not in addition to what was on the table before but replace that language.)
The controversial legislation has led some LGBT people in the city to criticize Wan, who is the city’s first openly gay city councilman, because many of the adult businesses along Cheshire Bridge Road, considered the city’s red light district, cater to gay clientele as well as employ many LGBT people.
“All of this has become a personal attack on my perceived morals and values and that’s not the case,” Wan told the GA Voice recently. “This conversation that I’m being a traitor to the LGBT community because of this … If the gay agenda is 24-hour bars and sex clubs, then the truth is I’m not the representative for that. And that’s how this argument seems to be crystallizing.
A new grassroots called QUEER UP! Atlanta is rallying people to attend Thursday’s Zoning Review Board meeting to speak out against the attempt to banish adult businesses from Cheshire Bridge Road.
Sung Kong, owner of Kong’s Auto Body Shop and an outspoken critic of Wan’s proposed legislation, has been asking people to sign a petition asking Wan to stop moving forward with his proposed zoning ordinances to faze out his business and other auto body and car washes.
Read Wan’s op-ed on the changes proposed to Cheshire Bridge Road and the counterpoint by Matthew Cardinale, the gay founder and editor of Atlanta Progressive News by clicking here.