Lakeway daycare owner suing the city after repeated permit denials

Bianca King always had a passion for teaching children. It gives her a sense of purpose.

"It’s a very heartwarming experience to be with children all day, sometimes more than adults," she said.

When she was laid off from work at the beginning of the pandemic, she felt it was the perfect time to open up her home daycare business, Rainbow’s Edge Childcare.

"I received my permit from Texas Child Care Licensing to care for four other children including my own, and it’s been a dream come true," said King.

But her problems came when nearby golfers complained, citing the city's laws.

"The only complaints have come from three specific golfers who apparently need to golf in complete silence to have a good game," said Erica Smith Ewing, senior attorney at Institute of Justice.

"They showed up to the board of adjustment hearing with the list of 19 criteria and they went down, and they said ‘In Lakeway you’re not allowed to provide a service out of your home, a daycare is a service. You’re not allowed to have customers come to your house, parents are dropping off their children,’" said Jared McClain, attorney at Institute of Justice.

King said she tried to get the permit with the city, but was denied each time. With the help of the institute for justice, she filed a lawsuit.

"The city of Lakeway is trying to take away the livelihood of a single mother and deny home childcare to its Lakeway families," said King.

King's lawyers said Lakeway has some of the most restrictive home business ordinances, and they are hoping to challenge the city.

"The precedent we are hoping to set is that the city has to have an actual legitimate interest in stopping the thing that they say they are trying to stop," said McClain.

We spoke to some golfers near the home, who tell us they don't see the issue.

"It does not affect me in the slightest. Sometimes there are kids out there making a little noise, but I mean, there are cars going by, there is maintenance equipment, so it’s nothing," said Richard Rains, golfer, unrelated to the lawsuit.

The city of Lakeway declined an interview but sent a statement:

"The city of Lakeway was made aware of the lawsuit late yesterday. We are at an early stage of this process, so we will not be able to add additional information at this time."

"People have a constitutional right to have a business out of their home as long as it’s harmless and not hurting anybody," said Ewing.

As of now, King said she still can operate her daycare until the case goes to trial. There have not been any safety complaints related to her permit request.

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