Ah, there's nothing on a hot day like an icy cold glass of lemonade sold illegally in a residential area.
The Tampa Bay Times reports 12-year-old T.J. Guerrero's Dunedin, Florida lemonade stand (which also sells freshly baked cookies!) has brought joy to the hearts of many—except Guerrero's 61-year-old neighbor, Doug Wilkey.
Wilkey has reportedly contacted law enforcement and emailed City Hall multiple times in an attempt to shut down the stand:
Doug Wilkey contends that the Palm Harbor Middle School student's year-round operation is an "illegal business" that causes excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking and other problems that reduce his property values.
Dunedin planning and development director Greg Rice told the Tampa Bay Times, "We're not in the business of trying to regulate kids like that; nor do we want to do any code enforcement like that. We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business." But that hasn't dissuaded Wilkey, who brought Pinellas County sheriff's community police officers to the area twice to settle the conflict.
Wilkey claims T.J's friends make noise, use profanity, and throw rocks and debris that he then has to clean up. (Because of Wilkey's complaints about his friends, T.J. sells his $1 lemonade and $.50 cookies alone.) He's also looking out for his neighbor's health, as he wrote in one email:
"The city could possibly face repercussion in the event someone became ill from spoiled/contaminated food or drink sales."
In another email, he wrote:
"If this were a once a year event by a couple kids to earn a little money for a holiday or something, I would not have a problem with it. I am very worried about the value of my home, which is why I built in a residential area, not a business area."
The Times reports that his most recent email to City Hall complained that T.J.'s lemonade stand was back for the summer, "AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Deputy Wayne Gross polled neighbors about the stand and found they were fine with T.J.'s 10 to 30 daily customers and surprised anyone complained.
One customer, a truck driver working on a project nearby, told the Times, "I tried the strawberry before and it's perfect. That's what it's about. He's willing to work."
You have to wonder: has Wilkey even tried the strawberry?