Single mom operating in-home daycare battles HOA

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by By DEBBIE DENMON / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:51 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 2:43 PM

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Debbie Denmon reports
October 8, 2008

A single mother trying to make a living says an HOA is threatening to shut down her in-home daycare.

The licensed in-home daycare operator can legally keep up to 12 children a day, but complaints are pouring in.

It's an issue disrupting a normally family-friendly neighborhood.

The sounds of children can be trying at times and keeping the peace among children is tough.

The eight kids Jennifer Watson looks after are ages 2 to 10. She tries to keep the volume down.

"Sometimes they are loud and I will say that and that is when I step in and say 'please quiet down, we do have neighbors,'" she said.

Linda Mires says her peaceful time in the garden is interrupted by the in-home daycare next door.

"I want it out! The quality of my life has gone down," she said.

"They get in the backyard and they're screaming and yelling."

It's a fight involving the Providence Homeowners Association. Their lawyer sent a warning to 1341 Providence Boulevard: "The property shall be used for single-family purposes and home office only... no home or lot shall be used for commercial purposes."

"To still have to fight for your income and for what you do is frustrating," said Watson.

A Huffines' property official told Channel 8 over the phone they support a home business if it is operating legally and within the community guidelines of codes and restrictions.

"I feel it has been overboard the steps that've been taken against me individually to shut me down," said Watson.

Mires moved in five years ago and says she didn't sign up to live next door to a business that started last year.

"I built this home to live and it's going to be my last one and to think that I have to put up with something like that - it's just not the American style as far as I'm concerned. What right do I have?" she said.

Mires - a widow and a homeowner - just wants peace.

Watson - a single mom and a renter - needs her job.

The HOA let both parties move in and now both sides wonder who will move out.

Bob Kembel, president of Huffines Communities, responded in writing saying: "First of all, we support any home business in Providence Village that is operating legally within the guidelines of our community codes and restrictions. The operator of this particular daycare is a renter, so we are instead dealing with the owner of the home, and with whom we have a meeting scheduled next week to address any issues. Until we meet next week, and until this issue runs through the appeal process with the HOA board, it is premature to comment on a final resolution."

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