ATLANTA - The Atlanta Zoning Board has rejected a plan to force adult businesses out of the Cheshire Bridge Road area.
Thursday night’s zoning board meeting drew a large, diverse crowd. On one side were adult entertainers fighting to keep their jobs at the bevy of strip clubs on Cheshire Bridge Road. On the other were residents who live a couple hundred yards away from the clubs and want the area cleaned up.
Sabrina Ramey said she is in charge of all the entertainers at Club Onyx. She said the club helps the economy and does not hurt nearby neighbors.
“We don’t bother anybody,” Ramey said.
Adult entertainment workers showed up in force at Atlanta City Hall, waving signs to save their clubs and defeat the proposal to shut them down. Nearby homeowners joined forces with council member Alex Wan to try to change zoning laws in the area.
The proposal initially targeted all sorts of businesses, but then was narrowed to only force some of the adult businesses along Cheshire Bridge to shut down within five years.
Residents said the clubs devalue their property and bring crime to the area.
“I am personally afraid to drive down that road after 10 o’clock on a weekend,” homeowner Bill Compton said.
“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 kids in a stroller past a strip club,” homeowner Courtney Hartness said.
All three nearby neighborhood associations supported the effort.
“At what point are our property rights and desires considered?” resident Jane Rawlings said.
But the zoning review board said the red light district businesses should stay.
“I’m so glad that we are going to be able to stay and remain open,” Daniell Granger of Club Onyx said.
“They just need to get to know us and know them,” Ramey said.
The fight is not yet over. The issue will go before the full zoning board and then the city council on June 3.