Zoning board votes against ordinance that would bar strip clubs - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Zoning board votes against ordinance that would bar strip clubs

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ATLANTA -

Employees of adult entertainment clubs gathered at Atlanta City Hall on Thursday to protest a new ordinance that would have closed strip clubs along Cheshire Bridge Road.

For years, strip clubs have been a fixture of northeast Atlanta road.

Back in January, City Councilman Alex Wan first proposed the measure that would flush out adult entertainment clubs the road in northeast Atlanta.

"It is to improve the highest and best use of each parcel of land that is in there," said Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan back in January.

Wan said he introduced the ordinance to help the community reach certain quality of life goals.  As it was originally worded, it would have meant any business that doesn't meet current code along Cheshire Bridge Road would close: everything from auto body shops to baby stores.

"My mother and father built this business out of nothing in '86. We've built our life around it. I quit my career to come and help out with the family," said Sung Kong of Kong's Body Shop back in January.

Wan heard those concerns and changed the ordinance. The revised zoning proposal focused exclusively on adult businesses.  

"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," said Courtney Harkness.

Strip club employees packed Thursday's meeting to oppose the plan.

"We have to pay mortgage. We have children. We are soccer moms. And just because we work in the adult entertainment business, it does not mean that we're criminals," said Sabrina Ramey.

While the plan had the support of city staff and neighborhood organizations, the zoning board voted to recommend that the City Council deny the changes and leave Cheshire Bridge Road as it is.

The final decision is in the hands of Atlanta City Council. The zoning review board only makes recommendations.

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