Cities Journal

14 Restrictions That Damage Nightlife

14-night club-flickr-theHalo
Photo credit: theHalo / Flickr

Night clubs are big business according to a Reuters report. With a combined annual revenue of upwards of $20 billion a year, it is also one of the most targeted industries for unfair restrictions.

People go to night clubs to socialize with their friends, meet new people and relax over a drink. Going to night clubs and bars is one of the country’s favorite past times and most lucrative industries.

With all that success there has to be some trouble. City, county, state and federal governments are working hard to restrict these establishments as much as they possibly can. Some are the restrictions are somewhat reasonable but others are downright unfair. Below are 14 restrictions that damage nightlife.

1. Zoning Restrictions

Zoning restrictions are one of the most common things that damage nightlife. In some counties or cities, the zoning is so tight that night clubs only have a very small area where they are allowed. This can result in the clubs all choking each other out of business.

Other times the zoning for a night club can be so far away from people that few will even bother to make the trip to get to the club.

Part of the zoning restriction issue seems to come from the elected officials’ apparent need to control and to curb drinking. Perhaps they have other plans for the area or maybe the residents simply don’t want a club there. Whatever the case, zoning restrictions can be brutal.

According to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal zoning ordinances, like the one detailed in the article, are designed to balance business vitality, safety and quality of life in an area. Safety is a big concern in any situation where the public congregates.

Add alcohol into the mix and common sense will tell you that it would be wise to take steps to contain alcohol consumption to a particular area in order to ensure the safety of all involved.

There are usually restrictions regarding how far a night club can be from a school, church or hospital. City ordinances can dictate how far away from a residential area a club has to be. The Austin American Statesman reported an ordinance that was passed by the Buda city council that banned the sale of alcohol within 300 feet of a public hospital, school or church. Beer sales were also banned in residential zoned areas.

Now it may seem like it is just part of the game. There are zoning regulations for everything, right? Well, when you consider that other companies that are not night clubs but do serve alcohol, such as restaurants, are often not held to the same standards as night clubs in many areas, it just doesn’t seem fair.

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