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61 year old Floridian complains about 12 year old neighbor’s lemonade stand

T.J. Guerrero selling lemonade in Dunedin Florida
T.J. Guerrero selling lemonade in Dunedin Florida
Wiki Commons

12-year-old T.J. Guerrero sells Country Time lemonade and cookies in Dunedin, however 61 year old Doug Wilkey is not happy. The 61-year-old man has sent emails to City Hall at least four times in the last two years. Guerrero appeared on Fox and Friends saying he was “very surprised” to hear that Wilkey did not approve of his business operation. He pointed out that all the other neighbors support him. T.J. lives near Wilkey but sets up shop in another neighbor’s yard. T.J. sells lemonade on the corner of Patricia Avenue and San Salvador Drive from 3 to 7 p.m. most days after spending time trying out other locations. Guerrero handles 10 to 30 customers a day. He setup this stand to raise for an iPod. He sells lemonade for one dollar and sells cookies for 50 cents.

The man first complained to the city about T.J.’s stand in March 2013. Follow-up complaints were sent in October, March 2014 and June. In one email, Wilkey labeled Guerrero’s operation as an “illegal business” and saying that it causes traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking and other problems, which reduce his property values. The Dunedin Planning and Development responded by saying, "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." In another email he claims, “The city could possibly face repercussions in the event someone became ill from spoiled/contaminated food or drink sales,” and even stoops so low to question how we don’t know the kid is some kind of terrorist.

Wilkey said that had this been a once a year event he 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.” Dunedin City Developer even came out and took a poll of the neighbors and nobody except Wilkey. After learning of Wilkey’s complaints, TJ now encourages his friends to not visit and now runs the business all by himself. Wilkey has been unable to shut down this operation; however people like him including the government have succeeded across the countries in states like Illinois, Oregon, Michigan, Washington D.C. and even in Toronto Canada.

So far, Dunedin, Florida town officials have not done as Wilkey has wished; probably figuring it's just a lemonade stand, and also thinking about the wave of negative publicity if they shut the kid down. So it's refreshing to say the least that Dunedin, Florida is resisting calls to shut down one lowly lemonade stand in the town. Still, Wilkey is persistent. He's tried saying the lemonade stand attracts misbehaving kids who throw rocks and debris and spew profanity, that they might kill somebody selling contaminated lemonade, and that his neighborhood is not zoned for business. Authorities have still not found evidence of lemonade stand improper business deals.