Council panel OK’s Cheshire Bridge neutering

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The effort to force strip clubs, sex shops and gloryholes off Cheshire Bridge Road cleared a big hurdle on Wednesday. But the sex businesses will have five years to pack up the pasties, lube and dildos before a forced relocation.

The rezoning proposal from gay Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan breezed though the Council's Zoning Committee on a 3-2 vote despite the Zoning Review Board snubbing the effort earlier this month. Wan, Keisha Lance Bottoms and Carla Smith voted in favor of it, while Howard Shook and Ivory Lee Young voted against it. Joyce Sheperd abstained.

Next stop: The full City Council on June 3.

"The committee has spoken and we'll see what the full Council says on Monday," Wan said after the meeting.

The controversial proposal targets sexually-oriented businesses on the strip and would give them until June 2018 to close or relocate off the eclectic corridor. Wan has come under fire from some LGBT activists and a gay City Council candidate for the proposals, though nearby homeowners -- and at least one gay escort -- back the effort.

The city's legal department has signed off on the measures, arguing that the rezoning allows the owners to stay put with other businesses or relocate the sexually-oriented ones to other spots in the city. Wan said the city shouldn't back down over the threat of legal action if the proposal gains final approval.

"If we allow fear of litigation to guide our decisions in what we vote for, our city would grind to a halt," Wan said. "The only people who oppose it are the adult businesses and the developers."

Photo: Opponents of a proposal to rezone sexually-oriented businesses off Cheshire Bridge Road rallied at a Zoning Review Board meeting on May 9.


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