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Thread: Halfway houses and group homes

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Oct 2005
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    Bloomington, Minnesota
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    Halfway houses and group homes

    Can anybody point me to zoning performance standards relating to half-way houses and group homes? Here in the frozen tundra many types (physically disabled, developmentally disabled) are required by statute to be permitted uses wherever a single-family dwelling is allowed,for up to six residents. Beyond that, they can be conditional uses. But they still have to meet the City's standards, so I'm looking for a comprehensive set of standards, including but not necessarily limited to:
    - parking
    - staffing (minimum, maximum)
    - separation from another facility
    - ancillary uses (office, family therapy)
    - any special life safety standards

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    From a (still draft) unified development code we've been working on ...


    10.306.14 Group home

    10.306.14.1 Intent
    Group homes are a necessary use serving a vital function in the community. However, their concentration in certain areas can have a perceived adverse affect on an area. Careful review of proposed group homes is necessary to ensure they are compatible with the residential character of the surrounding area, and a welcome addition to the city.

    10.306.14.2 Definition
    Group home: residence operated as a single dwelling, licensed or operated by a governmental or non-profit agency, providing special care or rehabilitation due to homelessness, physical condition or illness, nonviolent mental condition or illness, elderly age, or social, behavioral or disciplinary problems, where authorized supervisory personnel are on the premises. Group homes do not include halfway houses, where drug users, sex offenders, the dangerous mentally ill, or convicted felons are placed immediately after their release from a primary institution such as a prison, hospital or rehabilitation facility.

    10.306.14.3 Permitted locations
    * Group homes of up to six residents are permitted by right in the SF-R, SF-1, SF-2 and MH districts, subject to review and confirmation of spacing by Community Development staff.
    * Group homes of ≤15 residents are permitted by right in the MF district, subject to review and confirmation of spacing by Community Development staff.
    * New group homes must be placed ≥750 from other established group homes.

    10.306.14.4 Conditions
    * The appearance and residential character of the structure cannot be altered, either through use of colors, materials, construction (excepting provisions for the physically handicapped) and lighting; the emission of sound, noise, vibration and electromagnetic interference; or outdoor storage of any kind.
    * Signs identifying the property as a group home are prohibited.
    * Vehicles used primarily for the group home (for example, vans displaying an institution name) must be stored where they cannot be seen from the public right-of-way or adjacent properties.
    * Safehouses and shelters for victims of domestic violence are exempt from review and spacing standards for group homes.


    10.306.15 Halfway house

    10.306.15.1 Intent
    Halfway houses are a necessary use serving a vital function in the community. However, their concentration in certain areas can have a perceived adverse affect on an area. Careful review of proposed halfway houses are necessary to ensure they are compatible with the residential character of the surrounding area, and the safety of nearby residents remains secure.

    10.306.15.2 Definition
    Halfway house: residence operated as a single dwelling, licensed or operated by a governmental or non-profit agency, where drug users, moderate and high risk (level 2 and 3) and civil commitment sex offenders, the dangerous mentally ill, or convicted felons are placed immediately after their release from a primary institution such as a prison, hospital or rehabilitation facility. Authorized supervisory personnel are on the premises. A halfway house is intended to allow the persons to begin the process of reintegration with society, while still providing monitoring and support.

    10.306.15.3 Permitted locations
    * Halfway houses of at least six residents are considered subject to special exception review in the SF-R, SF-1, SF-2, MF and MH districts.
    * New halfway houses must be placed ≥2,000 from other established halfway houses, and ≥750 from other established group homes.
    * Halfway houses housing moderate and high risk (level 2 and 3) and civil commitment sex offenders are subject to the same spacing standards from schools, places of worship, and other landmarks as required for individual offenders under city, county and state law.

    10.306.15.4 Conditions
    * The appearance and residential character of the structure cannot be altered, either through use of colors, materials, construction (excepting provisions for the physically handicapped) and lighting; the emission of sound, noise, vibration and electromagnetic interference; or outdoor storage of any kind.
    * Signs identifying the property as a halfway house are prohibited.
    * Vehicles used primarily for the halfway house (for instance, vans displaying an institution name) must be stored where they cannot be seen from the public right-of-way or adjacent properties.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Oct 2005
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    Bloomington, Minnesota
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    Nice work!
    One of the nuisances we've seen is the ancillary use of these facilities for group meetings, usually with families or staff. Sometimes results lots of cars parked on the site & on the street.

    The purpose of these facilities (as defined in state statute) is to create a normal living environment for the residents. Group treatments, it seems to me, aren't part of that definition.

    Have you thought about putting any restrictions on other uses?

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