For many people, that precious window of time when Girl Scouts sell their cookies is a time-honored American tradition.
And for years, many residents of Hazelwood, Missouri filled their need for Thin Mints and Tagalongs from the driveway cookie stand of Girl Scouts Abigail and Caitlin Mills. That is, until neighbor’s complaints of traffic congestion and barking dogs prompted city officials to shut down their operation.
City officials told the girls that they could hawk their cookies in front of grocery stores or door to door but selling them out of their driveway violated zoning laws.
This didn’t sit well with the Mills family. Abigail told the New York Times that being forced to shut down the stand was “ridiculous,” adding,
“It’s not like we’re even keeping the money. It’s a fund-raiser. But I thought if we sat by, they would continue picking on us and shut down all the stands operated by little girls and little boys selling lemonade.”
And now, their mother is suing the city on behalf of her daughters for the right to sell the cookies in their driveway.
Hazelwood’s city attorney, Kevin O’Keefe, believes the city was fair in shutting down the Girl Scouts’ cookie stand; after all, the government doesn’t get to “pick and choose” who gets to operate a business.
What do you think? Was the city justified in shutting down the cookie stand or were they taking zoning laws too far?
Image Credit: Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar via Flickr