AUSTIN - When life gives you lemons, you take them to the City Council so you can sell lemonade.
At least that’s what Austin City Councilwoman Ellen Troxclair is trying to do, and Thursday she moved one step closer to deregulating lemonade stands in the City of Austin.
The council approved Troxclair’s resolution Thursday morning, which aims to remove fees and a time-consuming application process for young entrepreneurs who hope to sling some lemonade.
According to the Austin regulation, children who wish to sell lemonade must obtain a “temporary food permit,” which can come at a hefty price. According to the city’s permit application, a one-day application for a single booth costs $35, with an increased fee of $98 per booth for up to 5 days.
Currently, the only day these fees are waived is during Lemonade Day, which was launched in 2009 as a program to educate and equip young people with entrepreneurial skills.
Troxclair’s resolution states that the “Council must annually waive permitting and fee requirements for neighborhood beverage stands participating in Lemonade Day by city ordinance, and, absent a City Council waiver, these regulatory requirements create a barrier to entry for very low-risk children’s neighborhood stands.”
While all this red tape might seem a little sour, Troxclair’s resolution, which was co-sponsored, by Mayor Steve Adler, ended sweetly:
“Whereas, the City Council desires to ‘Free the Lemonade’ and allow children to make lemonade out of lemons free from burdens year round,” it states. “Be it resolved by the City of Austin City Council: The City Manager is directed to bring forward any necessary changes reducing City requirements relating to children’s neighborhood beverage stands, as defined by the Austin Public Health Department, including permitting fees and inspection.”
Troxclair told our news partners at the Austin American-Statesman that she’s been fighting to “free the lemonade” since 2009 when she discovered the Council had passed the resolution that removed the fees and application process for Lemonade Day.
“I get it,” Troxclair told the Statesman. “The laws all have good intention, and we certainly need to keep food uncontaminated, but kids selling lemonade at lemonade stands is pretty low risk.”
The Statesman reported that the Public Health Department is also in the process of creating a formal policy to not require any permits for children’s “neighborhood beverage stands.”
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