Michigan Boy Banned from Running Hot Dog Cart — Is It Fair? [POLL]
What a way to shut down enterprising youth. Nathan Duszynski, 13, of Holland, MI, decided he wanted to earn money so he set up a hot dog cart. But he went out of business as fast as he went into it -- thanks to the local government.
He camped out in the parking lot of Reliable Sports at River Avenue and 11th Street, located right across the street from City Hall, figuring he would attract a lot of customers. That's when a zoning official forced him to close shop, since he set up in a commercial zone.
Duszynksi spent $2,500, with a little help from his parents, to launch his business and even went to City Hall to secure the proper permit, which he thought he did. He and his family were never told about zoning rules, so he's decided to bow out and bail out, with a whole lot of unused hot dogs, to boot.
Ken Vos, the owner of Reliable Sports, had agreed to let Duszynski sell his hot dogs in the parking lot. But Phil Meyer, director of Community and Neighborhood Services, revealed that no vendors are allowed to set up where the teen did. Meyer said that there are numerous requests for temporary vending downtown, all of which are denied.
Duszynski was planning to use the money he spent selling hot dogs to save for a car and college, in addition to helping his family, which has fallen on hard times. The teen has also taken it upon himself to visit City Hall on unrelated matters regarding limiting library hours and lack of bus service on Sunday.
“We’re just really irritated,” his mother, Lynette Johnson, said. “My son was almost in tears. Why do they make it where kids can’t do anything?" She believes working at his own hot dog stand would keep her son of out of trouble, as well as help him earn money.
"There are other places that he would be able to place his food cart," Meyer said, like industrial or commercial districts outside the downtown area. “This isn’t anything against hot dog vendors, but there are a set of rules.”