UPDATE: Montgomery County officials have allowed the children to reopen their lemonade stand, by relocating it about 100-feet away from the intersection where it was set up Thursday.
The county permits director Jennifer Harris says the neighborhood children, who are raising money to fight pediatric cancer, needed to move their stand from the "main strip," to a more private, safer area. The $500 fine was also waived.
The children include members of 2 Washington power families, the Marriotts (hotels) and the Augustines (Lockheed-Martin).
"This is not big bad bureaucracy coming down on little kids," Hughes explained. She said the inspector was enforcing regulations designed to address concerns about traffic, safety and other non permitted vendors flooding into the area.
Hughes noted the kid's lemonade operation was serving bottled drinks out of 4 large coolers under a 10X10 tent. "This is not what you would see when you picture a typical lemonade stand," she said.
Parent's disagreed. "This feels like a whole lot of government to me," said mom Rene Augustine. However, the parents and kids say that as far as they are concerned the situation is resolved.
BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) -- You can make a fortune selling parking spots outside the US Open, but don't even dream of setting up a lemonade stand.
A county inspector ordered the Marriott and Augustine kids to shut down the stand they set up on Persimmon Tree Rd., right next to Congressional. And after they allegedly ignored a couple of warnings, the inspector fined their parents $500.
"This gentleman from the county is now telling us because we don't have a vendors license, the kids won't be allowed to sell their lemonade," Carrie Marriott told us, her voice trembling.
The kids can't seem to understand it. "I don't agree, I think the county is wrong." "We're sending the money to charity."
Jennifer Hughes, the director of permitting for the county, says it's technically illegal to run even the smallest lemonade stand in the county, but inspectors usually don't go looking for them. She said this one was unusually large. Hughes also says they've warned all kinds of other vendors they couldn't operate near the US Open because of concerns about traffic and safety.
But that did little to console Carrie Marriott. "Does every kid who sells lemonade now have to register with the county?" she asked the inspector.
"Cute little kids making five or ten dollars is a little bit different than making hundreds. You've got coolers and coolers here," the inspector responded.
"To raise money for pediatric cancer," Marriott replied.
What's funny is that the county has given scores of other neighbors permits to let golf fans park on their front lawns. The permits cost almost $300, but prices per car run as much as $60 a day. And some neighbors are reportedly raking in tens of thousands of dollars.
"I'm a little upset with the rip off that's going on," said Ron Simpson, who was getting ready to pay $50. One cop says a neighbor told him he'd made enough charging for parking at big golf events at Congressional that it had paid one of his kid's college tuition.
Carrie Marriott is having a hard time reconciling the two different perspectives on entrepreneurship at the US Open. "The message to kids is, there's no American dream."
Written by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com