Zoning

Texas Town Shuts Down Her Home Day Care After Nearby Golfers Complain the Kids Were Making Too Much Noise

Bianca King argues in a new lawsuit that Lakeway, Texas, zoning officials illegally deprived her of her right to earn a living by denying her a permit for her home day care business.

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A woman is suing the city of Lakeway, Texas, after it ordered her to shut down her home day care business at the behest of golfers who complained that the sounds and sights of children in her yard were throwing off their game.

Bianca King claims in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in District Court of Travis County, Texas, that Lakeway zoning officials violated her rights under the Texas Constitution to economic liberty and peaceful assembly when they illegally denied her a home occupation permit for her day care business.

"If Bianca were babysitting her friends' and neighbors' kids for free, the city couldn't do anything to stop her," said Erica Smith Ewing, an attorney with the Institute for Justice, which is representing King, in a press release. "There's no reason they should be able to shut her down simply because she makes a living doing so."

King, a single mother of two, moved to Lakeway from California in 2020 with the express purpose of starting a day care business. Her complaint notes that she went obtained all the needed certifications and underwent inspections required by Texas state law to allow her to care for up to four children at a time. Her day care business opened in January. She'll typically take care of between two and four neighborhood children, in addition to her own, during weekday business hours.

Kings' business proved uncontroversial for its first few months. Trouble started in August 2021 when she received a call from a Lakeway code enforcement officer telling her that someone had complained about her business. She was told that she was operating an illegal home occupation and that she'd need to obtain a "special use permit" to come into compliance.

Code enforcement told King, per her lawsuit, that getting that permit should be a straightforward, administrative process; she'd just have to cross a few Ts on an application. But soon after filing her application in September, she was told that she'd have to make the case for her business at a public hearing before the city's Zoning and Planning Commission.

The public hearing process gave critics of King's business the opportunity to complain about it. And complain they did. At a November zoning commission hearing on King's permit application, former Lakeway Mayor Joe Bain complained that children's toys in King's yard were visible from the adjacent private golf course he played on. He also said that the sounds made by kids playing in her yard were also a disturbance.

"When you walk or drive by…you can see the kids out playing, which is fine, but there is a noise issue," said Bain at the hearing.

Those complaints proved persuasive enough that the commission voted 4-1 to deny King her permit.

Her appeal to Lakeway's Board of Adjustments went no better. That appeal required a second public hearing where Bain and several other golfers reupped complaints about the noise and distraction caused by King's day care. There was support for King's application. Lakeway's current mayor spoke in her favor, arguing that the city's home occupation law was nearly impossible to comply with.

That wasn't enough, however. The Board of Adjustment voted last week to deny King's application, saying in a written decision that her day care business violated Lakeway's requirements that home occupations be "undetectable" to the public and that there aren't customers commuting to the house.

Left with no other options for appeal, and facing daily $2,000 fines if she kept her day care open, King sued.

She argues that 19 different requirements of Lakeway's home business law—which also bans everything from regular deliveries to keeping merchandise on site—is "is one of the most oppressive home-occupation ordinances in the state and even the country."

Her lawsuit argues that merely having children play in her yard isn't enough to make day care a detectable business, given that kids playing outside is a normal, unregulated part of suburban life.

Shutting down the business, despite its negligible impact on neighboring property owners, violates a number of the Texas Constitution's protections of private property and peaceable assembly, the complaint continues.

King is asking the court to reverse Lakeway's decision and let her operate her day care in peace.

Millions of Americans, like King, started working remotely during the pandemic. People bringing business inside the home often run afoul of local rules forbidding or strictly regulating what people can do for pay inside their own property.

The rise of remote work has led some cities to start loosening their home business regulations. That's been a slow, uneven process, however. And not all cities are eager to start allowing even the most innocuous commercial activity in residential neighborhoods.

Lakeway's crackdown on King's business is regrettably par for the course.

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  1. Judge Smails is behind this.

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    2. An unupdated 1500 sqft house in Lakewood is sale pending for $760,000, and that home wasn't adjacent to a golf course. You don't buy a million dollar house on the links without the implicit promise that you can fuck with your neighbors if they make noise.

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    3. It’s ok if she has to shut down. The world needs ditch diggers too.

      1. It’s ok if she has to shut down. The world needs ditch diggers too.

        While I'm sympathetic and side with her on this case, she lives in a house on a golf course in a city where the median listing price for a single-family home is currently $850K. I don't see digging ditches nor any other similar sort of labor) for a living in her future.

  2. "When you walk or drive by…you can see the kids out playing, which is fine, but there is a noise issue," said Bain at the hearing.</i<

    But you could sit out there all day with a block of metal and an angle grinder for hours on end, as long as it's not a business.

    1. Or repair dents in garbage cans with a hammer.

      1. Blast some Barry Manilow, I heard that works.

        1. Better, that song ‘Easy Street’ that Negan used to torture Darryl on The Walking Dead.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDDAYxoFNWs

      2. Or repair dents in garbage cans with a hammer.

        That's not what they meant when they said they would be OK if she wanted to bang one out with the windows open.

    2. [In the backyard over lemonade]

      So, Bianca you said it was *FOUR!* kids that you're licensed to look after? Is that *FOUR!* kids all at once or *FOUR!* kids total on the client list? Either way *FOUR!* seems like a rather arbitrary and capricious number. Not five. Not three. But *FOUR!*

      1. There Are Four Lights Kids!

    3. To a point, that is correct but at some point noise abatement and right to quiet laws would kick in. It's the profit motive that is banned because that means 24/7 - she could no more have kids yelling outside than teach rock guitar using Marshall Amps. Why didn't she do her homework and find a better location?

      1. There are laws that were available for her to read concerning noise and running your own business. I may not like them and she certainly doesn't but everyone has to live by them or sell their house and move on. I'm glad we have noise ordinances in my community personally and that people have to turn off their shit country, shit rock, and shit rap music off where I can't hear them after 10pm.

        1. Of course, none of the complaints were about noise occurring at *night*, but, y'know, I suppose y'all can just ignore that.

    4. Time for other people with loud kids to visit her regularly. If the yard toys bother golfers then they need to work on their focus.

      1. That's fine because then she would be within the law. If she wants to waste her life like that then more power to her.

  3. So can we get a court order that those golfers cannot receive any Social Security benefits paid for from taxes collected from the kids who grow up and get a job?

    1. So can we get a court order that those golfers cannot receive any Social Security benefits paid for from taxes collected from the kids who grow up and get a job?

      Sure, as long as you also refund their entire social security contributions, with interest.

      Hey, that's a deal I would take.

      1. There are no social security "contributions" to be refunded. There's only SS taxes paid that paid benefits to current retirees.

  4. ~~ heads to Lakewood to make noise

    1. Always wanted to take a 450cc dirt bike out on a golf course and tear the shit out of the area around the teeing/putting spaces. And, of course ride around while people were playing. Golf is as stupid as it gets.

      1. Load up on tequila and make it happen.

      2. If you don't know, look up a Rokon.

        I took a ride with one of those across the golf course, over the hill and out of the subdivision when I finished a job two years ago. Passed a golf cart coming out of the sandpit and it was glorious.

      3. On a Texas golf course you would probably get shot.

    2. A proper protest would be all the locals surrounding the golf course with pots and pans and banging them for the pleasure of the golfers.

  5. 1. Her complaint notes that she went obtained all the needed certifications and underwent inspections required by Texas state law to allow her to care for up to four children at a time.
    2. She was told that she was operating an illegal home occupation and that she'd need to obtain a "special use permit" to come into compliance.

    Well, Christian, what did your excellent journalism techniques turn up to resolve this conflict?
    Any chance at all of illegal influence on the government officials by "the golfers"?
    Does government official involved have a membership in the club?
    What skin colors are involved here?
    What are the political party registration of the parties?

    1. I think skin color, as always, is the most important metric.

    2. Umm, Reason publishes a monthly magazine with in-depth articles on various topics. They also have a blog on their website where writers can dash off quick blog posts about stuff in the news. Guess which one this is…

      1. Shut up, loser.

    3. golfers....OR competing daycare businesses that want to quash competition...

      Only a certified fuckhead would complain about SEEING them.

    4. Even ignoring the presumably at least mildly sarcastic last two, the first three questions were something that I had wondered about as well.

      Did she get all the permits or not? If she got all the permits, then how is the city managing to find a legal leg to stand on with which to fuck with her?

      1. Certifications, inspections, and permits are three separate and distinct things.

        She had the state-granted certification (to operate a child care) and state-mandated inspection (to ensure the facility was safe and suitable for children). She did not have the business permit from the city.

  6. Texas? Not San Francisco? You sure?

    Like the two teams are merging into one or something.

    1. Local government is teeming with busybodies from both sides of the aisle. It's basically like a malicious association of HOA presidents.

      1. The " one person complained so we must do ________ " is called Dictatorship.

        Its some lame ass Prog activist looking for an excuse.

    2. Lakeway is mostly relocated Californians.

      1. Lakeway is basically west west Austin. They have a PD that has about 3 to 4 cops, and those dudes write tickets for 5mph over the speed limit. Its mostly retirees, and they don't take kindly to people that don't reside within their boundaries, unless your vacationing there and spending lots of $$$

        1. It's a burb and outside of Austin.

  7. "moved to Lakewood from California in 2020 "

    and there you have it.

    1. She isn’t the one acting like a stereotypical California liberal.

      1. She isn’t shitting in the street?

      2. No, but moving to a city with "the most oppressive home business rules" with the express intent to open a home business ain't too bright.

  8. Just so I understand, she is suing to convince the city to let kids play outside by a golf course?

    One kid gets whacked in the brain pan by a sliced ball and she has to move anyway. It's not going to be on the golf course. That's part of the price you pay to live on a course.

    The insurance to run her business at that location should be FAR too high due to this possibility and if she doesn't have the insurance to cover such a loss, she should close and move.

    Unless there are some mitigating circumstances, I'm with the golf course on this one.

    1. Yeah, because that sort of thing happens every day. That her insurance cost is not prohibitive demonstrates how stupid your (fake) concern for the children actually is.

      1. It's not that fake. Lots of golf course homeowners get their windows broken by errant drives. My family rented a golf course vacation home once, and my sister had a Pepsi bottle hit right out of her hand on the patio.

      2. Houses get hit all the time.

        It is VERY common and usually part of your HOA that you deal with it as part of the privilege of living on the links.

        It is uncommon for people to get hit. Cars and houses get hit all the time and the people who live on golf courses are aware of the risks. The waiver against suing the golf course is right in the HOA when you buy the house.

        Hence my comment about insurance. Insurance companies are well aware of the risks posed by living on a golf course. I suspect anyone trying to run a child care business on the back 9 would have trouble anywhere in the world.

      3. That her insurance cost is not prohibitive demonstrates how stupid your (fake) concern for the children actually is.

        What makes you think she has insurance that covers the liability of operating a daycare center with an outdoor play area on a golf course?

      1. I wonder if there are any statistics on how often this actually happens - kids in yards having a deadly golf ball bit them.

        If that took place (which Lord forbid), who do you think the aggrieved parents would sue - the daycare place, or the (way richer) golfers and their club?

        1. hit them not bit them. I understand that getting bitten by golf balls is very rare.

          1. never happened to me when I lived on a course. confirmation bias.

            1. My sister was bit by a moose once...

        2. Well, we do have a Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they do, in this case, actually have statistics.

          https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/fatal-occupational-injuries-associated-with-golf-courses-and-country-clubs-2001-2006.pdf

          As the following tabulation shows, the most common event leading to golf-course-related fatalities during the 2001-06 period involved nonhighway vehicle accidents--19 overturned vehicle incidents and 14 other nonhighway incidents:
          Event Fatalities
          Overturned vehicle (nonhighway) 19
          Other nonhighway incident (excluding overturned vehicle) 14
          Fall to a lower level 8
          Highway incident 7
          Homicide 6
          Trench collapse 6
          Struck by falling object 6
          Suicide 5
          Drowning, submersion 5
          Airplane accident 5

          Most interesting is that "falling objects" and Homicide are equally likely.

          These figures include lawn care, maintenance, and construction, not just 'playing golf'. So the falling objects is more than a driven golf ball.

          1. Having seen the accuracy of drives against the armored cart on the range... Homicide.

        3. People hit by golf balls is probably pretty rare but the houses on a course usually have some sort of waiver.

          As a golfer, if I hit your house, I am not legally responsible for damage anywhere I have ever played.

          Many golfers, like me, would leave a note or knock on the door if my ball breaks a window.

          But if my ball hits a person on their own property, the golf course has protections in place already that make this the liability of the homeowner.

          Insurance companies are very well aware of this and price accordingly. I suspect her business is uninsured and her homeowner's insurance is unaware.

    2. if thsts what you got from the article, you need counselling.

      1. I would concur.

        But, I did not get my information from the article but from experience. I posted because I believe the article is missing information.

    3. There are plenty of places on golf courses where getting hit by a ball is impossible. Like behind a tee.

      1. Which would go far to explain the noise complaint, I suppose. Fuck golf and golfers noetheless.

        1. I tell ya, golf courses and cemeteries are the biggest wastes of prime real estate.

      2. Behind a tee is near the pin on the back 9.

      3. "There are plenty of places on golf courses where getting hit by a ball is impossible. Like behind a tee."

        You've never seen me play golf.

    4. Just put up a high fence, and that takes care of the visibility problem too.

      1. Most golf courses have strict rules against that, at least the nice ones do. Golf courses tend to have community rules like HOA agreements that regulate all the houses that face them.

        Homeowners may have to water the lawns, have low, easy to hop over, split rail fences around their yards, no pets... Such rules are common, particularly around high end golf courses.

        I suspect there is more to this story than has been published.

        1. It's Reason. I guarantee the article is slanted to tweak libertarians' outrage knob.

    5. I once heard a commissioner in our county advocate for more than two entry/exit ways into a subdivision, because "what if a plane crashed and the engine of the plane blocked one entry point and the body of the plane blocked another? How would rescue teams get in to rescue all the people from the burning houses?" I kid you not. That was her reason for requiring the third road required into any subdivision in our county. She served only one term and was voted out based on that ridiculous argument. The guy running against her did Babylon Bee type arguments against her at the candidates' forum and everyone was laughing so hard she eased out the back door and didn't even stay for the coffee and doughnuts afterwards.

      1. That sounds about as likely as a college professor having a 2nd front door installed on her home because she feared possibly being trapped inside with no way out in the event that a future SCOTUS justice was blocking the main door.

    6. Depends entirely of the layout of the tees and elevations involved. From the one picture involved, it's a downwards slant of unknown length to the golf course assuming it's directly behind her house.

    7. Also, it is entirely possible that she is closer to the clubhouse more than any actual tees and that is the real reason for the punk ass bitch move by the course owners.

  9. So let me get this straight: Major league baseball players hit a ball thrown at them at close to 100 mph by people with the rare ability to also make the ball move in all sorts of unnatural ways while thousands of people are yelling, including some hurling vile insults at them, but golfers need absolute silence to hit a ball sitting still on the ground? Game, not sport.

    1. why are they looking at children instead of their balls?

      Maybe theyre child molesters like Joe Biden.

      1. They're looking at the children while stroking their balls.

    2. It's a really small ball, and they have to hit it into something, not just to miss people. I've been to combined driving and batting ranges, and batting's easier.

      1. Really doesn't matter. If they all deal with noise, the noise becomes irrelevant.
        See the 16th hole at Pheonix and can it, golfers. Hit the damn ball and learn to do so under any nose levels.

      2. 'Game, not sport.' Implies that baseball was just an example sport.

        Hitting a golf ball is harder than hitting a baseball, but if people run between several different stations and control several separate small explosions to put several different 'balls' in a ~1-3 in. 'hole' anywhere from 10 to 1200 yds. down range, you can learn to hit a ball well with the noise of children playing off in the distance.

        Hitting a golf ball is harder than throwing a football, but if people can thread the needle and put a loaf-sized ball in a breadbasket 15-20 yds. downfield in the 2s they have the ball before the linebackers crush them, in the background of 30,000 or 60,000 screaming fans, you can learn to hit a ball with the noise of children playing in the distance.

        Hitting a golf ball is harder than putting a watermelon-sized ball in a peach basket 10 ft. off the ground, but if people can do it with someone standing in front of them molesting them for the ~3s they have the ball, in the background of 15,000 screaming fans, you can learn to hit a golf ball with the noise of children playing off in the distance.

        I could get that 15 or 30 or 60K people screaming in the background would be distracting and understand the 'Quiet Please!' signage, but we're talking about 4 kids. Admittedly, golf is not baseball or basketball or football or precision rifle shooting. That's the point.

        1. and put a loaf-sized ball in a breadbasket 15-20 yds. downfield in the 2s they have the ball before the linebackers crush them

          Only 15-20 yds? **Laughs in Aaron Rodgers**

        2. Technical difficulty has nothing to do with it. Billiards are every bit as technically difficult as Golf and nobody seriously calls it a sport. Same with Dart throwing.

          The reality is, you can literally be morbidly obese and golf. It isn't an aerobic game of athleticism. It is just a skill game, like ring toss at a carnival.

    3. guess you've never tried either. thanks for the expert analysis

  10. Can't she just muzzle the kids? Safer for COVID too. Win-win.

    1. 4 masks should do it. So they cant breathe enough to shout.

      Sounds like the fmr Mayor is an entitled asshole.

  11. Travis County - Austin is County Seat, so this kind of B.S. is fully expected as the bastion of liberalism in Texas. The "rights" of hobby golfers outweigh those of a lady trying to earn an honest living!

    BTW, a golf course is a terrible waste of a shooting range!

    1. I was a contractor in Austin. Lago Vista was where I wanted my competitors to go try to get some work done.

      1. True fact: Lago Vista has had elected Libertarians multiple times.

        Don't know if that was a reaction to the problems you saw or they're just as bad as the others.

    2. > BTW, a golf course is a terrible waste of a shooting range!

      They should definitely be dual use spaces. 😀

  12. Can she do virtual babysitting?

    Other than that, all I got is a leveraged buyout of the golf club.

  13. I used to live and work around Austin - Lakeway was the original wealthy suburbanite subdivision, blending California refugees, New England vacationers and oil ranchers with delusions of high society.

    You want to find the enclave of the snobbish cunts in ATx, that's it.

  14. She could become a bounty hunter. Texas Governor George Wallace II has offered $10,000 in taxpayer money for hunting down fugitives from Babbitt's anti-race-suicide Lebensborn laws. As Harriet Beecher Stowe pointed out, "The catching business... is rising to the dignity of a lawful and patriotic profession."

    1. Uh, are you drunk, or just delusional?

      1. Quite serious actually. EFF golf...

  15. Bunch of fiverr song commissions about the unceasing sexual deviations the golfers and their mayor engage in, in the clubhouse, played at 120db on a loop might solve her problem

    1. Uh, are you drunk, or just delusional?

    2. The mayor argued in favor of her business.

      1. The former mayor then, who I think was one of the jack-holes on the original complaint.

  16. Let 'em play the 16th hole in Phoenix.

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  18. NIYBY (Not In Your Back Yard).

  19. How about this? Shut down the golf course instead. Waste of real estate anyway.

  20. What if she has 4 of her own kids playing in the backyard?

    1. Then her homeowners insurance covers liability if one of the kids gets hit. Just like if a ball hits your house. It's on the homeowner's insurance not the golf course.

      I suspect the insurance agent would have some choice words were he to find out she is running a childcare business next to a golf course and expecting him to cover a loss.

      1. I don't disagree with the explicit issue with regard to insurance and it's entirely plausible that the story is missing details, but it seems like if she's in compliance with the requirements to run a daycare and her HOA, both of which would include insurance stipulations, the Mayor would've said something about that rather than just noise.

        1. Wouldn't surprise me if this isn't a municipal golf course.

          Totally speculation on my part but if so, it might be covered by the city's liability insurance and the mayor is just talking out his ass as much as I am at this point.

          I'm just stunned this is still a story... It's in the top read pages for the site and I'm just stunned.

          Do people just not get how nuts it is to have a glass greenhouse, highway, child care business, pottery barn, or hail dent repair business within 50 yards of a fairway?

          1. The "Top Read" pages here is heavily weighted by date of release. This story is 3 days old at the site, so it's going to be near the top for a couple of days at least.

          2. Sounds like the thing Institute for Justice needs to do is get the golf course lawyers under oath at a deposition.

            Q1: To the best of your knowledge, does your golf course present any danger to children present in the adjoining neighborhood?

            Q2: (if yes) When did you become aware of this danger?

            Anyway, what makes your point massively less convincing is that residents of the neighborhood are allowed to have children and let them play in their backyards. EIther it's dangerous or it's not. I do not believe the presence of a profit motive makes golf balls more lethal.

  21. "is one of the most oppressive home-occupation ordinances in the state and even the country." Madam, we totally agree with 100% and we now rule: Application denied. If you are too stupid to research the law before moving and setting up a business at a location where folks who shell out $300,000, don't want 'noise' and 'deliveries' etc. and want everything 'behind closed doors' that's on you. And while you can have a birthday party for 12, there is always a noise issue and disturbing the peace, playing music too loud.

  22. City bureaucrats and rich people are generally selfish dicks. This proves it again!

  23. I have always thought that golf is a lot of fun but the people who play it and the etiquette surrounding it is tremendously obnoxious.

    If it was just a nice long walk in a nicely kept park hitting a ball towards a hole, it would be more fun.

  24. The golf links lie so near the mill
    That almost every day
    The laboring children can look out
    And see the men at play.
    - Sarah Cleghorn

  25. adress
    شركة عزل فوم بالرياض

  26. Large tv facing course playing the opening credits to Monty Pythons in search of the Holy Grail on a loop. Add a fart machine with a motion sensor that makes it go off on every back swing.

  27. Estupehdah game...

  28. Zoning is a racket, and she is not likely to have the money to make this shit go away in the usual manner.

    -jcr

  29. Sounds to me like she needs to install some ambient music speakers in her back yard and the brightest, flashiest, chrome whirlygigs she can find.

  30. One thing that is clearly established is her right to place a political sign on her property expressing her opinion on this issue.

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