The recent spell of local governments shutting down neighborhood lemonade stands has been cited as a perfect symbol of government overreach and the oppression of the American entrepreneur. But there’s one: One Florida city is resisting calls to shut down a youngster’s stand and telling him to keep it up.
In the city of Dunedin, 12-year-old T. J. Guerrero spends four hours a day selling lemonade and cookies in hopes of getting an iPod, paying for his cell-phone bills, and visiting his grandparents, among other goals, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune. But neighbor Doug Wilkey thinks that the middle schooler is running an “illegal business” and wants City Hall to put an end to it.
He says he’s concerned the value of his house, four doors down from Dunedin’s, could drop because the neighborhood could be considered a business area rather than a residential one. Wilkey also says he’s concerned about customers’ health.
In response to Wilkey’s request, the city says it has better things to do.
“We’re not in the business of trying to regulate kids like that; nor do we want to do any code enforcement like that,” said Greg Rice, Dunedin’s planning and development director. “We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business.”
The Tribune adds that T. J. has plans to shut down the stand eventually, but only when he turns 14 and can apply for a job at a local grocery store.