lemonade stand TJ guerreroThere's nothing more refreshing than watching a young Latino kid run a wildly successful lemonade stand--that is, of course, unless you're a cranky old sourpuss who lives next door to said stand.

Doug Wilkey of Dunedin, Florida has been campaigning to have his 12-year-old T.J. Guerrero's lemonade stand shut down for the last two years, because, get this, it's too popular. Wilkey has contends that the middle schooler's "illegal" lemonade stand has caused excessive traffic, noise, trash, illegal parking and other problems that reduce his property values.

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"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," he wrote in an email to City Hall. "I am very worried about the value of my home, which is why I built in a residential area, not a business area."

Okay, so the man makes a valid point. Chances are the pre-teen hasn't registered his stand as a legal enterprise, and it's totally possible that the street corner on which he sells his lemonade isn't zoned for business--but c'mon! It's not like the kid is selling drugs or babies. He's selling $1 lemonade and 50 cent cookies, for god's sake. Even Dunedin planning and development director Greg Rice thinks Wilkey is overreacting. "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 tells the Tampa Bay Times. "We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business." Phew!

Lucky for T.J., Wilkey appears to be the only curmudgeon on the block. When the disgruntled 61-year-old called the police on the boy earlier this summer, Deputy Wayne Gross decided to poll neighbors about the stand. Not surprisingly, he found they were fine with T.J.'s 10 to 30 daily customers. Suck on that, Wilkey!

Listen, I get that the T.J.'s stand can be somewhat of a nuisance, especially when you consider the fact it's that it does attract quite a crowd and it's located directly in front of Wilkey's home. But to be fair, T.J. has done his best to be considerate of his neighbor's property and quality of life. When Wilkey started complaining about T.J.'s friends causing damage to his property, T.J. made the executive decision to sell his sweet and sour treats on his own.

For his part, T.J. has managed to ignore his neighbor's special brand of haterade. He tells the paper his only concern is earning enough money to pay his own cell phone bill and take his mother out to dinner every once in a while. He adds that he's counting down the days until he turns 14, at which point he can apply to become a bagger at a local grocery store. I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty sweet to me.

Image via Tampabay.com

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About the author

Tanisha Love Ramirez is a freelance pop culture journalist and professional smart alek. She enjoys using breaking lifestyle and entertainment news to talk about gender, race, class, and fitness.

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Filed Under: teens, teenagers, teen, florida, drinks
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