In a case that appears to be part of one of most anti-family agendas ever, a mom’s daycare for her own two children, and a few belonging to neighbors, has been closed after a former mayor complained he could see children in her yard while he was golfing.
The fight is being handled by the Institute for Justice, where Erica Smith Ewing, a senior attorney, charged, “Women have used their homes to care for their neighbors’ children for thousands of years and Bianca should be able to do so.
“If Bianca were babysitting her friends’ and neighbors’ kids for free, the city couldn’t do anything to stop her. There’s no reason they should be able to shut her down simply because she makes a living doing so.”
The case involves Bianci King, a single mom of two young children. She lost her job during COVID, and started a daycare for her own children, ages 2 and 4, and several children living in her neighborhood.
But the IJ explained, “On Feb. 9, city officials – citing concerns of a group of nearby golfers (including former Mayor Joe Bain) that they could hear and see children playing in her backyard – shut her down.”
Her lawsuit challenges a decision by Lakeway to use its zoning laws to shut her down, even though she already had a state license for her home day care.
“A victory for Bianca would set precedent that would help Texans throughout the state defend their right to earn an honest living in their own homes,” the IJ said.
“A former mayor’s desire to golf without seeing children’s toys outside any of the homes near the golf course does not defeat a single mother’s right to earn a living by caring for her neighbors’ children,” said IJ attorney Jared McClain. “Citizens of Lakeway have a right to earn a living, even if it isn’t ‘effectively undetectable’ by a neighbor.”
King customers are all neighbors, who mostly bring their children over by walking them over in strollers. She watches only two to four children at a time.
But then a few months ago, the city demanded that she have a “home occupation permit.”
She applied for the permit, and when there was a hearing, Bain “was the only resident to speak out against Bianca’s business,” IJ reported. “He complained that toys were ‘fully visible from the golf course’ and that the sounds of children was interfering with his golf game.”
King’s yard backs up to the tee box at the 8th hole.
The commission rejected King’s request, and when she appealed to the city’s board of adjustments, her plan was endorsed by the current mayor, and her father, who told officials, “I will not apologize for giving my grandchildren a child playhouse.”
But the board also rejected her plan, cited “more complaints” from golfers.
And a commission member who voted against King admitted she was providing a service that the community needs.
IJ said it has “fought against similar laws that prevent individuals from using their homes to earn an honest living, such as the one in Nashville that is preventing a single father from using his garage as a recording studio and a widow from cutting her neighbors’ hair. Additionally, IJ is currently challenging other harmful zoning laws, such as the one being used to kick people out of their homes in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and the one that is threatening to put a small mechanic in Pasadena, Texas, out of business by requiring him to install 23 parking spaces he doesn’t need and can’t afford.”
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