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When life gives you lemons, waive the permitting fees

Thursday, June 15, 2017 by Lisa Dreher

City Council Member Ellen Troxclair thinks permitting fees and regulations are not easy peasy lemon squeezy when children need them for lemonade stands. Under city code, it is $35 to set up one temporary food booth for one calendar day, and two days costs $98. Every May 6 is Lemonade Day, where fees are waived for lemonade stands, but Troxclair wants those fees waived year-round. A temporary food booth permit is different from single-day permits for concession stands, because temporary food services including booths must not be set up for more than 14 consecutive days and must be in conjunction with an event. Temporary concession stands are set for short-term events at or outside of a park area. Permits for these cost $50 a day and require insurance, a health permit, a sales and use permit, and a health proprietor letter. “People have great childhood memories of themselves having lemonade stands or it’s something that a lot of parents encourage their kids to do just to learn really valuable entrepreneurial skills or customer service skills,” Troxclair told the Austin Monitor. “Actually, it kind of gives rise to bigger issues if you think about it. I’ve had people point out to me that it’s illegal for our homeless population to sell things like water or jewelry that they’ve made. So that’s a much bigger and more serious issue that probably requires further discussion.”

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