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Texas children hit with cease-and-desist order from local government after selling eggs to neighbors

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4/23/2021 Jake Dima
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A pair of Texas children was hit with a cease-and-desist order by the local government after selling eggs to neighbors in the San Antonio area.

The two girls, 10-year-old Indiana and 8-year-old Phoenix, started collecting extra eggs from the chickens on their property and sold them to those in the community following the devastating Lone Star State freeze in February that roiled the region's food supply.

The sisters generated about $70 per week under the guidance of their father, Brian Johnson, an Army veteran, before the city of Bulverde intervened.

Johnson received a letter in the mail that demanded that he and his girls stop selling the eggs, he told CBS Austin on Thursday.

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Someone in the neighborhood complained about him keeping chickens "for the purpose of producing and selling" eggs, City Manager Danny Batts told the Washington Examiner.

The "keeping of 30 chickens in a residential neighborhood, while not common, is permissible" under the city's ordinance, but "the selling of chicken eggs, or any other animal products produced on the property, from a residentially zoned lot is a violation ... regardless of the age of the person conducting the sales," he added.

"City staff are bound to investigate complaints of ordinance violations which are presented to us and to seek compliance with the laws as they are written," Batts continued. "If Mr. Johnson believes that he is not in violation of the city ordinance against producing and selling chicken eggs in a residential zone, he will be given an opportunity to present his case to the Municipal Court judge for a ruling."

The military veteran, fearing further action, has been forced to halt sales, he said.

“I’m afraid that the city will take further action against me, and I don't want to hurt my kids,” he said.

Indiana and her sister were just trying to help their neighbors and weren't "running a business," she said.

Johnson initially made the suggestion to the girls so they would be able to learn about "bank accounts" and money, he said.

“I told the girls, 'Hey, you know, we have some extra eggs. I'll tell you what — I'll open your bank accounts. I'll get you checks and debit cards. We'll build you an account, and you can sell the extra eggs to the neighbor,'" he said.

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He continued: "During the freeze, they supplied eggs, gave away firewood, and one of those individuals learned that our car was out of gas, so a five-gallon can of gas arrives at our house from one of those people. ... They're learning positive things."

Tags: News, Texas, San Antonio, Government, Government Regulation

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: Texas children hit with cease-and-desist order from local government after selling eggs to neighbors

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