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Family surprised that six-year-old’s lemonade stand drew city’s attention

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- It's a tradition that goes way back -- putting up a lemonade stand to make some extra cash. One local mom says the city told her to make sure her six-year-old son was in compliance with the law while running his lemonade stand.

Young George Hellebusch just wanted to make some money when the city of Overland Park told him to make sure he has approval from its planning department.

"I can get my own money, and that won't waste my parents money so that I can get other stuff that I want," said George, an entrepreneur in the making.

He's been selling lemonade in front of his grandpa's restaurant to be able to buy what he wants.

"I got enough for this glowing light saber that changes colors!" he said.

His mom Amanda thought Geo's, the restaurant owned by her dad, would be a good spot for George to set up shop since they don't get much traffic on their home street.

"I want him to learn that he needs to work in order to earn his own money to buy the things that he wants," Amanda said.

They've only been out here a handful of times for about an hour, averaging about $20. But on Tuesday, the city of Overland Park showed up.

"The inspectors were looking at two illegal signs that were out, what they call wind wave signs, so they stopped in the parking lot and started writing up the reports," said Sean Reilly, with the city of Overland Park, "They said, 'hey, by the way, if you want to do a lemonade stand, you probably need to talk to the planning department before you do anything else just to make sure you get approval if necessary.'"

Reilly says the city does not look for lemonade stands to shut down, nor did it shut down this lemonade stand.

"They said if you're going to do anything out front, doesn't matter what is it, just makes sure you're in compliance," added Reilly, "He's been doing it, we're not going to look for it, if somebody complains, then we have to respond."

"I was kind of just shocked," said Amanda, "I mean we wouldn't set this up in front of just any random business, it's just a family owned business, it's actually named after George."

George said it made him mad.

"Because then I can't get my money!" says George.

"I couldn't believe that a six-year-old would need a permit to sell Lemonade," said Amanda, "I understand the city is doing their job, because that's a rule that they have, for us to have a permit, but I just think it's very silly."

Amanda says if she has to, she will get her six-year-old a permit to hold his lemonade stand. The city says that won't be necessary.

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3 comments

  • Squeaky Wheeler

    From a purely objective standpoint, the mom did say, “I want him to learn that he needs to work in order to earn his own money to buy the things that he wants.” And while this next part isn’t necessarily attached to her statement, it logically follows that there are certain requirements for making money. In this particular instance, a permit is required. If my kids were out doing that, I’d go with them to get the permit. It’s a fantastic learning opportunity.

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