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California Town Shuts Down Child’s Lemonade Stand

by @ 4:35 pm on August 7, 2009. Filed under Business, Dumbasses, Economics, Individual Liberty, Politics

In Tulare, California, the rule is no permit, no lemonade:

The story began Monday morning when Daniela and her stepmother, Marisa Earnest, set up shop at Cartmill Avenue and Hillman Street in north Tulare. The lemonade was freshly squeezed and priced at $2 for a 32-ounce plastic cup.

Richard Garcia, a Tulare code enforcement officer, happened to be at the same intersection to remove illegal signs left behind by someone selling tetherball poles.

Garcia told Daniela and her stepmother that their lemonade stand — on the northwest corner of the busy intersection — was not safe, and also that they needed a business license to sell lemonade.

He helped the pair load their ice chest and equipment into their car and then called city planners to find out where they could relocate.

“He wasn’t out there on lemonade patrol,” said Frank Furtaw, Tulare’s code enforcement manager. Garcia was merely applying the city’s code enforcement laws equitably, Furtaw said.

Tulare officials said they cannot recall ever shutting down a lemonade stand before this week. But it’s not altogether uncommon. Authorities across the nation have done the same. And in Fresno, a Huntington Boulevard shaved ice machine run by a resident mostly so neighborhood kids could get a sno-cone on hot days was shut down by a Fresno code enforcer in June 2008.

Now a reasonable person would probably think that code enforcement officers could turn a blind eye to children’s lemonade stands with little legal effect, but the government of Tulare feels differently:

Vice Mayor Philip Vandegrift said a compromise — possibly asking lemonade stand operators to pay a nominal fee or establishing a license fee waiver for children under a certain age — could be the outcome of Daniela’s experience.

However, the city needs to enforce vendor laws, Vandegrift said, “otherwise we’ll have people on every corner.”

But Vandegrift doesn’t want to take away lemonade stands from children. For many, it represents their first opportunity to flex their entrepreneurial muscles.

“I had many a lemonade stand as a kid right in front of my home,” he said.

Well, you wouldn’t be able to have one now, Mr. Vice-Mayor.

John Stossel put it best:

There’s no business that’s too small for government to torture

Indeed.

3 Responses to “California Town Shuts Down Child’s Lemonade Stand”

  1. [...] This post was Twitted by MarkUrbin [...]

  2. [...] Diversos, Economia, Internacional, Nanny State Watch, Política — Elizabete Dias @ 23:25 California Town Shuts Down Child’s Lemonade Stand: The story began Monday morning when Daniela and her stepmother, Marisa Earnest, set up shop at [...]

  3. Scandia says:

    It’s too bad but, you know what? If somebody had bought this lemonade (two bucks for kids lemonade – what’s this country coming to?) and gotten sick, the mother, the child, and the local health department would have been sued up the waazoo.

    And just imagine if somebody had been hit by a car while doing lemonade business? The town would be sued, the driver would be sued.

    Lawyers rule!

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