LAKEWAY, Texas—The city of Lakeway agreed to not enforce its home business ordinance against home day care provider Bianca King while her lawsuit against the city moves forward. The decision comes after Bianca joined forces with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to challenge the city’s law in state court. With enforcement paused, Bianca can continue to run her state-licensed day care facility without fear of $2,000 daily fines from the city or criminal prosecution.
“I’m so grateful I can continue to provide safe, reliable child care for my neighbors in my home, at a time when child care is difficult to come by,” Bianca said. “This business has not only been my passion but is an important and honest way for me to make a living for myself and my children, while filling a crucial need I see in the community.”
In addition to not enforcing the current ordinance against Bianca, the city will attempt to amend the law to reduce barriers to home businesses. Lakeway currently requires home businesses to meet 19 different criteria, including being “undetectable,” not having “customers” come to the location and not providing “services” from the home. If the city has not amended the law by Sept. 19, Bianca’s lawsuit will continue.
“We’re thrilled that Bianca can continue to operate her day care, and we hope the city changes its home business law so that all Lakeway residents can earn an honest living from their homes,” said IJ Attorney Jared McClain.
Once the city proposes amendments to the law, it will go to the Zoning and Planning Commission (ZAPCO) for a public hearing, where Bianca and her IJ attorneys can make public comments about the proposed changes. Following that hearing, the City Council will hold a public hearing to consider ZAPCO’s recommendations on the proposed amendments.
Bianca, who was laid off during the pandemic, started her home day care business last year. She followed all the requirements from the state and county to open her business, and her customers were all happy with her service. Suddenly, in August 2021, Bianca was informed that the city received a complaint that she was running a home business and that she would need to apply for a permit from the city. She did so, but was denied twice, following complaints from golfers, including a former mayor of the city. In February, Bianca teamed up with IJ to challenge Lakeway’s home business law in state court.