Cheshire fray heats up ahead of City Council vote

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The fight over bricks and mortar sex shops and strip joints on Cheshire Bride Road continues to play out online ahead of an upcoming critical vote by an Atlanta City Council committee.

First, opponents of the effort by gay City Council member Alex Wan to force some businesses off the corridor created an online petition. That was undercut when Wan narrowed his focus to sexually-oriented businesses. Supporters, stung by the city's Zoning Review Board rejection of Wan's rezoning proposals, then launched their own petition to boost the effort. (Some 231 signatures and counting.)

Seeing that, opponents on Wednesday launched this: Atlanta City Council Members: Vote NO on Cheshire Bridge changes! (Some 21 supporters and counting.)

Cheshire Bridge is under attack from legislation that would remove “certain” businesses from the NC-4 and NC-5 districts by 2018. The ever-changing proposals has finally narrowed its focus on “adult businesses” in the neighborhood while excluding, for now, other businesses such as gay bars and automotive businesses. This an arbitrary attack that will have “unintended consequences” down the road.

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.

Many people also question the legality of removing the “sunset” clause in the 2005 rezoning of the NC-4 and NC-5 districts as well as the targeting of these specific businesses. While Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan's proposal would do away with these businesses by 2018, who's not to say other Cheshire Bride establishments will not be targeted down the road?

Cheshire Bridge has much to offer all people and families including shopping and restaurants – and is growing every year. Many high-end houses are being built in the area and the inclusion of a mixed-use complex on the corner of Cheshire Bride and Piedmont Road is currently under planning.
Vote NO on the proposed legislation to stop this arbitrary attack on Cheshire Bridge businesses – now and in the future.

The City Council's Zoning Committee, on which Wan serves as vice chair, is scheduled to consider his proposal on May 29. Opponents are rallying their troops to attend the meeting.

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