Gay candidate ‘denounces’ Cheshire rezoning

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UPDATE | Council panel OK’s Cheshire Bridge neutering

The gay divide over plans to rezone the sexy parts off Cheshire Bridge Road widened on Wednesday. A gay Atlanta City Council hopeful denounced the effort as a council committee vice chaired by Alex Wan, the gay sponsor of the effort, was to begin its deliberations over it.

Matt Rinker (photo) issued a statement on Wednesday morning opposing efforts to force sexually-oriented businesses from Cheshire Bridge Road. In January, Rinker announced his campaign to oust City Council member Natalyn Archibong to take the District 5 seat.

Rinker's statement was issued about an hour before the Council's Zoning Committee was scheduled to consider Wan's proposals.

Matt Rinker Denounces Cheshire Bridge Amortization Efforts

In advance of the Zoning Committee meeting of the Atlanta City Council, District Five candidate Matt Rinker issued a statement in opposition to the proposed zoning efforts of Cheshire Bridge Road.

“I respect neighborhoods changing zoning to develop their areas as they see fit. Cheshire Bridge has already been changing.  While the residents would like to have a more accelerated pace, the re-zoning is working and it is not right for the City to accelerate the process.”

Rinker points to the City Planning Department's own acknowledgement that when the new zoning regulations were passed over 20 businesses along Cheshire Bridge were adult-oriented.  Presently only 7 adult-oriented businesses remain along the corridor.  Rinker also raises concerns about future zoning throughout the city if the legislation passes.

“Today, we allow one NPU to force certain businesses to close because they don’t want them in their backyard.  Tomorrow, they decide it’s another type of business.  Where does it end?  Are we now saying that every NPU can just change the rules as they feel?”

Rinker also states that if the legislation passes, Council will have set an expensive and dangerous precedent for the future.

“By forcing these business owners to close down, the City will be liable to pay them damages.  It is not in the best interest of the City to shell out what is bound to be millions of dollars to force these businesses out of the area.  As tax-payers, we should not be on the hook for shutting down businesses to appease a few neighborhoods when the process is already working – just not at the pace those residents want.”

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