Kid's 'Illegal' Lemonade Stand Sparks Neighborhood Battle - Legally Weird
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Kid's 'Illegal' Lemonade Stand Sparks Neighborhood Battle

When it comes to choosing an arch-nemesis, a 12-year-old boy selling lemonade and cookies from a front-lawn card table seems like a peculiar choice.

But a Florida man seems determined to shut down a neighborhood boy's pop-up lemonade shop, claiming the lemonade stand is an "illegal business" that reduces the value of his home, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

How are the neighbor's complaints going over with local authorities?

'We're Not in the Business of Trying to Regulate Kids'

The concerned neighbor, 61-year-old Doug Wilkey, has emailed Dunedin, Florida city officials at least four times over the last two years to complain about the boy's stand. According to Wilkey's complaints, the boy's stand causes excessive amounts of traffic, noise, trash, and parking issues. In addition, Wilkey says the boy and his friends use profanity, throw rocks, and wreak havoc on the neighborhood, including an incident in which one boy accidentally ran into Wilkey's parked truck on his bike.

Dunedin city authorities are unsympathetic however. "We're not in the business of trying to regulate kids like that; nor do we want to do any code enforcement like that," Dunedin planning and development director Greg Rice told the Tampa Bay Times. Other supporters of the boy's lemonade stand include the town's mayor, who told WPTV-TV that he thought the boy "is setting a great example. I don't know what the other neighbor's problem is, but I would like to talk to him to try to figure it out."

Lemonade Stands May Have Legal Issues

Although Dunedin officials may be choosing not to enforce regulations against the boy's lemonade stand, other entrepreneurial kids haven't been quite so lucky. A group of kids in Montgomery County, Maryland who set up a lemonade stand outside a local golf course hosting the PGA's U.S. Open golf tournament were not only shut down by local officials, they were also fined $500.

Generally, to avoid being shut down or fined, a lemonade stand will likely need the same permits and licenses as other mobile food businesses in your area, such as a vendor license and a health inspection. In addition, there may be local ordinances or zoning laws prohibiting stands in certain areas or at certain times.

For Wilkey, hopefully he can turn his sour defeat into something productive. Maybe something with lemons...

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