Charleston Council unanimously passed a bill prohibiting strip clubs, adult book and video stores, pawn shops, check cashing establishments other than banks, gun shops, pay as you go phone stores and gambling parlors from opening along Washington Street East from Sidney to Morris streets.
The ban will go into effect today, East End Main Street Executive Director Ric Cavender said.
Cavender and other supporters said the change would protect existing businesses.
Over the past decade, a total of $250 million in public and private money has been invested in the East End, Cavender said. That figures includes everything from the money invested to build Power Park to streetscape improvements.
The types of businesses banned were identified as being those that could deter future economic growth in the community, Cavender said. Cavender has been a vocal supporter of the measure since it was introduced.
"We're really proud to champion a bill that protects existing businesses and promotes economic development in the future," he said.
Charleston Councilman Marc Weintraub, who represents a portion of the area along Washington St. East, sees Monday's passage of the bill as a victory for existing businesses and the community as a whole.
"It really was the businesses that asked for this," he said.
Public entities and private businesses have invested millions of dollars into turning the East End into an eclectic destination in Charleston, Weintraub said.
"It's remarkable the amount of investment that has been made," he said.
Weintraub also said the types of businesses were identified because of the potential to "deter" economic development. The businesses were also identified because of the element they can bring into an area, he said.
Pay as you go phone stores are prohibited from opening because the phones are typically associated with drug dealers, he said.
"I'm not saying that everyone who has a pay as you go phone is a drug dealer, but those phones are typically associated with the drug trade," Weintraub said.
Weintraub said he had not heard any negative feedback about the measure.
Mayor Danny Jones applauded the community for stepping up and taking the lead in attempting to protect the economy in the East End.
"This was a community effort," Jones said. "This was the community's call."
Existing East End businesses are exempt from the ban, Cavender said.