WABE News

Zoning Board Rejects Plan to Remove Adult Businesses from Cheshire Bridge, But Measure Still Alive

Atlanta’s zoning review board rejected a controversial measure Thursday aimed at removing the adult businesses along midtown’s Cheshire Bridge Road.

The measure, however, remains alive.

The meeting was held before a packed City Council chamber.

During a lengthy public comment period, many expressed support for the measure, which if passed would give all adult businesses in the area five years to relocate.

Courtney Harkness, president of the Morningside Elementary PTA, said the adult businesses make the neighborhood less safe.

“We’re fed up with not being able to walk to the many wonderful restaurants and retail establishments that are available on Cheshire Bridge Road because we don’t want to push our children in a stroller past a strip club.”

But opponents outnumbered the supporters. Employees of the strip clubs filled entire rows and held protest signs.

Zoey Hughes, a local resident and a former dancer at one of the strip clubs along the street, said she likes the neighborhood the way it is.

“I don’t want to be in the PTA, I don’t want to be a homeowners association member, I don’t want children. I moved to Cheshire Bridge, I moved to Atlanta to be who I wanted to be without some soccer mom telling me who I could be.”

Several trade groups added the measure is a violation of private property rights and sets a dangerous precedent.

“As amended, the ordinances raise significant First Amendment concerns and will almost certainly result in a potential legal battle at incredible expense to Atlanta taxpayers,” said Robert Broom of the Atlanta Board of Realtors.

The board ultimately rejected the measure, but it’s only a recommendation. The measure now moves to the City Council’s zoning committee later this month. The committee will determine whether it goes to the full City Council for a vote.