A brawl may be brewing in the aftermath of the controversial legislation proposed by Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan to oust several adult businesses lining Cheshire Bridge Road.
The council rejected Wan’s proposals in a 9 to 6 vote on June 3, ending months of sometimes bitter debate between residents living in the area and those who own and work at the businesses targeted by Wan’s proposed zoning ordinances. But another battle may just be beginning.
Michael Morrison, owner of Inserection on Cheshire Bridge Road, said he is pleased with the council’s vote, but he is not confident something similar won’t come up in the near future if Wan remains on the council. So Morrison plans to run against Wan, the City Council’s only openly gay member, using his own money if nobody else throws their hat in the ring.
In a 9 to 6 vote on Monday, the Atlanta City Council voted against rezoning Cheshire Bridge Road that would have caused at least seven adult businesses to be shut down by 2018.
The proposed ordinances, sponsored by openly gay council member Alex Wan, sought to rezone two districts along the popular thoroughfare which has become known as the city's red light district.
“No more tits! No more dicks!”
Members of the Clean-up Cheshire Bridge Brigade (CCBB) were marching in a circle in front of a strip joint, chanting and waving signs on the road many call Atlanta’s red-light district.
Their tiny protest circle was in support of gay City Councilman Alex Wan’s effort to de-eroticize Cheshire Bridge. His proposed ordinances to do so have been delayed introduction until May.
At a recent public hearing, a speaker describing Cheshire Bridge Road as “the most wonderful street in Atlanta” drew chuckles from the audience. That the comment elicited laughs sadly captures the disappointment many hold in how the corridor falls far short of its real potential.
Over a decade ago, nearby residents, businesses, property owners and city planners undertook a long, collaborative public process to design a vision for the area. Their work resulted in the Cheshire Bridge Road Study adopted by the city of Atlanta in 1999.
Six years later, the zoning changes corresponding to that plan were enacted, creating two neighborhood commercial (NC) districts along the street, but in the eight years since 2005, no more meaningful progress has been made.