Hot dog selling teen shut down by city rules | News
HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 13-year-old boy says he will fight to change the law so he can open his own hot dog stand in downtown Holland.
Nathan Duszynski saved up thousands of dollars to buy his food cart, which he set up outside Reliable Sports across the street from Holland city hall. The boy wanted to use the profits to pay for college and help out his parents, who suffer from epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
But Tuesday morning, a city worker shut down the boy's operation, saying the business violates zoning laws that do not allow food carts to compete with downtown restaurants.
"It's zoning, and just because I own a piece of property doesn't give me the permission to do whatever I want on it," says Holland Mayor Kurt Dykstra.
The owner of the sporting goods store, Ken Vos, says he offered the spot to Nathan, remembering how his family started their business with almost nothing in the 1930s.
"To see his opportunity taken away from him bothered me," says Vos. "I like to see kids today who have the energy and the drive and desire to use private enterprise to make a better living."
Mayor Dykstra says he offered the boy two other spots to operate the cart. Nathan, though, is selling his stand and plans to use the money to fight city hall.
"I don't want to see him stifled by an ordinance or ordinances that prohibit him from what he would like to do," says Douglas Johnson, Nathan's step-father.
"I want kids out there to think they're able to do something like this," says Nathan. "They're able to make something big with themselves and not sit around and play video games and wonder how you're going to buy your next video game."
Nathan says he has a buyer for his stand. County leaders are offering to to refund his permit fees.