You Ask. We Investigate: HOA Lemonade Stand Shutdown
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - It's a summertime tradition...cool lemonade on a hot summer day. But when one family set up shop in their driveway to earn a few dollars, their HOA had them shutdown, turning their lemonade back into lemons.
Little Megan Jensen and her parents wanted their lemonade stand to be a success in the driveway of ther Summerlin home.
"Our plan was to sell about 40 bucks a day of pink lemonade ice cream and pink lemonade," said 7-year-old Megan Jensen.
They started from the ground up, building a stand, even giving it a proper name: The "Pink Dreams" stand.
"And then we put on the pink, and then we put on the beads and then put on the grout, and then scrubbed the grout off and then we put on the Hawaiian skirt in the back," she said, describing the process of building the stand themselves.
The "Pink Dreams" stand was ready for business, set up in the gated neighborhood of Bella Veranda, inside the Summerlin South HOA. The Jensen's insisted their intentions were good.
"We were going to give some of our benefits to our church. They have a poor box and we just thought it would be a nice community thing," said Megan's mother, Kathy. They sent out a flyer alerting the community their stand would be open for business, but the sub-association showed up bright and early with bad news. "Our Grand Opening was to be Monday, July 18th . And right at grand opening time, the President of the HOA came over and said, you're not allowed to do this," said Kathy. That's when the Jensen's emailed Action News. The Jensen's say the HOA president shut them down and explained that in order to sell food they needed to be licenced...an expense that the Jensen's said could have run them close to $130.
Megan isn't alone. Officials are cracking down on illegal lemonade stands all over the country and sending kids packing with their homemade treats.
The Grandmother of two young lemonade entrepreneurs in Texas was fined 50 bucks for not having the proper permit to sell in their local park.
Appleton, Wisconsin police shut down a lemonade stand for being too close to a city event where vendors were paying to sell their food.
As for Megan Jensen and her mother, they say their HOA has overstepped it's boundries.
"I think the premise of an HOA really is to control how the neighborhood looks, and I think when they start trying to control how you live your life, and trying to control how you promote community in the neighborhood, I don't think that's right," says Kathy.
We reached out to the president of the Bella Veranda HOA.
She told us that health regulations in the community were the main reason for the shutdown. In addition, signage advertising for the lemonade stand was not permitted to be posted on the community mailboxes. She says that all of the little things add up, and so the Jensen lemonade stand was not allowed to stay.