Our town has adopted an ordinance dealing with group homes, which has a whole section of rules for granting 'reasonable accommodation' in the event someone wants to build a home for the disabled which qualifies for special FHAA/ADA protections. It has been pointed out to me (as the writer of the section in question, unfortunately!) that the procedure chapter includes a questionable step, and I'm afraid it's true. The request for accommodation must begin with a recommendation from the planning commission, and then go before the council for a vote. However, the ordinance also says, "If a request for reasonable accommodation is denied, [it] may be appealed to the Board of Adjustment in the manner provided for appeals of administrative decisions applying this title" This is wrong; I know it is! Where the heck did that come from, and why did I never notice it? The BOA cannot reverse the judgement of our elected council. The applicant would have to take it to district court, and we don't want that. How can we provide another step if we want the council to make the 'final' decisions on these requests, but still want applicants to have another chance to negotiate? Can we say something like that in the event of denial, applicant may request a variance before the BOA (during which request applicant may negotiate the accommodation to be more palatable to town interests)? Then it would be a new decision altogether, yes? Or am I way off track?
If you got all the way through this question, thanks!