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Austin lifts permit requirement on kids' lemonade stands

Austin City Council passed a handful of new ordinances that could impact your summer activities. One of the resolutions has young entrepreneurs particularly excited. (Photo: CBS Austin)

Austin City Council passed a handful of new ordinances that could impact your summer activities. One of the resolutions has young entrepreneurs particularly excited.

Kids no longer need permits to open lemonade stands in the city of Austin. The Riley family started taking advantage of the lifted requirement the day council voted. Before Thursday, opening a lemonade stand cost $35 for a one-day permit and $98 for a two-day permit. If the lemonade stand was on a city sidewalk, the permit cost $460.

Thursday afternoon Tripp, Tate, Levi and Lexi Riley spent the afternoon making plans for their first legal lemonade stand in the city of Austin.

"I'm really excited about it because when we were little we used to do lots of lemonade stands with our nannies and our babysitters," says 8-year-old Tate.

"It was really fun and just a way to ... not branch out, but to get off of electronics and just do something fun outside," says 11-year-old Tripp.

With dreams of opening their own business someday, summertime is time to practice.

"This is a great way to kind of like ... get a head start on it," Tate explains.

State law allows cities to exempt low risk operations, like kids' lemonade stands, from permitting requirements. It's just something Austin City Council had never done before.

"These permitting requirements have really left a sour taste in many of our young entrepreneurs' mouths and it will be so refreshing to see their lemonade stands pop up in Austin this summer," says Council Member Ellen Troxclair.

Other business tackled at city hall Thursday includes limiting the number of days Zilker Park, Auditorium Shores and Festival beach can be closed to the public for special events.

"Sometimes I would like to come and it's closed because ACL is going on or something like that, so I would like to have the park open more often," says Michael Istvan, a Zilker park visitor.

This year, Zilker Park is taken over for 29 days of the year for special events. Fourteen of those days are Trail of Lights alone. Next year, only 24 days can be booked for special events at Zilker Park. Auditorium Shores and Festival Beach will see slightly fewer events, too.

Council members also voted to implement a $250 parking fine for vehicles parking on grass or under trees -- potentially damaging roots -- at city parks.

"There's a lot of space. There's other alternatives for parking and there's not many trees where you have to park under a tree so I can understand that," said Alfredo Valladolid, a Zilker park regular.

The parking fines take effect in 10 days -- on Sunday, June 25.

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