West Austin City Shuts Down Home Day Care Over Golfer Complaints, Owner Sues to Save Business

Bianca King is a single mother with two young children. Until recently, she was able to raise her 2-and 4-year-old kids while making a living running a small daycare out of her home. But on Feb. 9, city officials—citing concerns of a group of nearby golfers that they could hear and see children playing in her backyard—shut her down. She joined forces with IJ to file a lawsuit in state court challenging Lakeway’s near total ban on running a home business. 

“Women have used their homes to care for their neighbors’ children for thousands of years and Bianca should be able to do so,” said IJ Senior Attorney Erica Smith Ewing. “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 lawsuit argues that Lakeway’s use of zoning laws to stop a state-licensed home daycare business is unconstitutional. 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. 

IJ 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.  

“The city of Lakeway is trying to take away the livelihood of a single mother and deny home child care to its Lakeway families.”
IJ Client Bianca King

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