The board's decision follows proposals introduced by Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan that would have forced businesses to conform to special zoning requirements - and which would mostly affect the thoroughfare's adult video stores and strip clubs.
In his ordinance, Wan says that such ventures "give the area a negative perception" which harms the surrounding communities.
"Cheshire Bridge has always been a very challenging area in the district," Wan told CL. "It's one I've consistently heard neighbors in adjacent areas - complaining isn't the right word - but talking about... and sharing their frustration with it."
Since 2005, the city has required new businesses along Cheshire Bridge to encourage pedestrian activity and streetside shopping. In addition, new adult businesses were prohibited from opening in the area. Existing establishments, however, were "grandfathered in" and could remain open along the bustling thoroughfare.
Wan's ordinances would have required such "non-conforming" businesses along Cheshire Bridge between Piedmont and Lavista roads to meet the approved uses or leave the corridor as early as 2015. These establishments could apply for an extension, but would likely have difficulty complying considering their apparent lack of family-friendly practices.
The councilman says it's not fair to residents, property owners, and community leaders who helped the city craft the zoning requirements in 2005.
"The 'grandfathering' issue allows the current situation to perpetuate and not improve," Wan says. "There's a sense of disillusionment across the city when we ask people to invest time in an area and the plan [they create] just sits there and nothing happens."
While the ordinance could potentially help community leaders achieve their longstanding goal of ridding the neighborhood of adult-themed businesses, it might also affect other businesses, such as Kong's Body Shop. The son of the auto repair shop's owner told CBS Atlanta that Wan's proposals would also force him to close.
As for what's next, the Zoning Review Board has deferred action for 60 days. Wan remains hopeful that they can "revise and possibly refine" both proposals over that time before they revisit the ordinances.
"The 'pause' button gives us a chance to go out and explain," Wan says. "It will allow everyone to make a very informed decision."
NOTE: An earlier version of this article included a quote from a business owner who said Wan's proposals would not affect such stores as Inserection and Onyx. However, the legislation would affect those businesses.
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