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Weston, Florida Bans Nightclubs, Dance Halls, Skating Rinks

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There are just certain things that neighbors don't prefer in their backyards. Nightclubs tend to be one of them.

In a decision that's drawing comparisons all over the internet to that famed Kevin Bacon-vehicle Footloose, the city council of Weston, Florida voted to ban nightclubs, dance halls and skating rinks, ABC News reports. Officials in the family-friendly community said they made the decision in an aim to reduce crime and big crowds.

Do nightclubs actually actually increase violence? A study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found factors that increase the risk of fights include "smokiness, noise, temperature, dirt, darkness, crowding, poor ventilation, the presence of competitive games (e.g., darts, pool), bouncers, and more male than female employees," according to a summary.

Taking the step to ban entire industries may seem excessive, but Weston is actually one of many towns to try and rid itself of seedier businesses. Holly Hill, Florida has mulled banning thrift stores, pawn shops, flea markets and other businesses from its main commercial street, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. Nearby Daytona Beach passed a similar measure last year.

In the suburbs of Jackson, Mississippi, officials banned tattoo, nail shops and other "undesirable" businesses in 2009, the Jackson Free Press reports. And Monrovia, California passed an ordinance earlier this month putting a 45-day moratorium on tobacco stores while the city mulls banning new head shops all together.

But the trend of banning businesses dates back longer than just in recent years. Plantation, Florida officials rid their town of check-cashing stores in 2000 by closing a zoning loophole, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Still, at a time when struggling cities are forced to deal with declining revenues some are trying to hold on to any businesses that they can. The mayor of East St. Louis, Alvin Parks, has said for example, that nightclubs bring his city much-needed tax dollars, according to Stltoday.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified Alvin Parks. He is the mayor of East St. Louis.

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