DUNEDIN, Fla. (CBS Tampa) — A neighbor has been trying to shut down a 12-year-old’s lemonade stand for the past two years, claiming it’s an illegal business.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Doug Wilkey has emailed Dunedin’s City Hall at least four times over the past two years to shut down T.J. Guerrero’s lemonade stand. Wilkey has claimed in the emails that the Palm Harbor Middle School student’s year-round stand has lowered his property value because it has caused excessive traffic, noise and trash.
“Please help me regain my quiet home and neighborhood,” the 61-year-old Wilkey wrote, according to the Times.
Wilkey has emailed officials in May and October of last year and March and June of this year.
“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,” Wilkey said in an email, the Times reports. “I am very worried about the value of my home, which is why I built in a residential area, not a business area.”
He also said in another email that Dunedin could face repercussions if anyone got sick from the lemonade.
Wilkey claims that T.J.’s friends have cursed around his home, threw rocks in his yard and a kid damaged his truck by running his bike into the back of it.
T.J., who lives four houses down from Wilkey, places him lemonade stand in front of a neighbor’s corner lot which is right next to Wilkey’s home.
“It’s all about profit,” T.J. told the Times.
Greg Rice, Dunedin’s planning and development director, said the city has no plans to take up Wilkey’s request.
“We’re not in the business of trying to regulate kids like that; nor do we want to do any code enforcement like that,” Rice told the Times. “We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business.”
A Pinellas County sheriff’s community officer was called out at least twice. Deputy Wayne Gross was told by neighbors that they were fine with T.J.’s lemonade stand and didn’t understand why anyone would complain, the Times reports.
T.J. operates his lemonade stand from 3 to 7 p.m. at Patricia Avenue and San Salvador Drive.
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