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Thread: Assisted living, up to six persons under care

  1. #1
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    Assisted living, up to six persons under care

    In our state up to six persons under care are permitted as a "personal care home". More becomes "group home" and building codes kick in, with sprinklers among other requirements.

    Recent applicant for rezone to conduct, conditionally, assisted living in a residential hood was denied.

    Reason: Applicant leased house and immediately moved in with some of her "charges", over whom she has POA.

    She listed them as co-lessees, and was therefore "street-legal" according to state licensing.

    Our town's single family zone does not require that occupants be related, but does say members must function as a "household unit".

    Applicant's charges were not supervised well enough during the period leading to the public hearing for the application, and a number of "escapes" generated responses by local police as well as ire of neighbors.

    One citizen at hearing keeps seasonal residence in Long Beach, CA, and stated that in that city such an operation is called a "six-pack". He had observed that every time a six-pack was allowed in Long Beach, there was a degrading of neighborhood quality and an uptick in first responer calls.

    Anyone here hear of that term and its alleged effect?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Ha! Well, my father lives in a “5-pack” in the Seattle area (its actually in Shoreline, so right next door). They seem to have a lot of decent regulations in place for these homes-turned-facilities as the operators gave us a ton of info about it all. The residents all have dementia so there is a substantial “flight risk” element to the population where my father lives. As a result they have a very secure front door that sounds an alarm (I believe it tells you which door to the outside has been opened – they have a front and yard door), even for people visiting. It’s a little jarring at first, but doesn’t seem to phase the residents and they have never had an “escapee” there for the last 4 years (my father was one of the first tenant at this particular house). They also have the whole place ADA-compliant, grab bars in bathrooms and showers, proper widths on doors (my father is in a wheelchair for example), etc. So, a lot of measures in place to keep residents safe.The place also maintains very good relations with at least two of the neighbors who we have met working in the yards as we come and go.

    People providing this kind of service in a regular home with no security and no special equipment sounds like a serious problem to me. I am also disturbed that there is a caretaker business that has POA for all of their residents! That is not usual (family members typically retain POA when someone is incapacitated, even if care is provided under contract with another party) and makes the person sound like a Cat Lady (Old People Lady?). Or maybe a scammer. I see lots of red flags in that particular case and perhaps not the correct regulations in place to ensure accountability for the caregivers.

    But if you are looking for boilerplate language, you might reference the Seattle and/or Shoreline WA codes. I know they have these kinds of facilities in Albuquerque as well, so you might consider looking at that language as well. I can’t say enough good things about where my father lives. Great staff, he is always bathed and groomed and they are extremely attentive to behavioral changes, which often signal an illness or infection (and if unchecked usually results in a hospital visit at other places he has been). Which is all to say that whatever they are doing up there in terms of regulation seems to be allowing for some excellent care delivery. Between my wife and I, this is the third parent we have put into a long term care facility, so I have seen quite a range of nice and not-so-nice realities.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  3. #3
    Sadly, I have never heard of the term.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    In our state, according to a recent newspaper story, personal care homes that are licensed are often fraught with violations of licensure, and the agency that issues permits and conducts inspections is understaffed and overworked, and shows a very low incidence of license revocation despite citations.

    Assisted living costs are quite high in well-kept facilities. Units like the one we are dealing with must be indicative of the "affordable" side of eldercare.

    I have served the occupant a notice of non-compliance with a deadline to meet, after which a citation to appear before Municipal Court will be issued.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    Aren't these operated as a type of Business, and therefore should be located in a Commercial Use Zone or Mixed Use Zone or at least a "Multi-Family" or "Multi-Dwelling" Zone.

    It seems that they would not qualify as a "Home Occupation" either.

    They do not seem inappropriate in a "Single-Family" or "Single-Dwelling" Zone.

    I would also agree that incursion of this type of Use in a "Single Family" neighborhood would lead to deterioration of the neighborhood, when it should be our responsibility to try to protect neighborhood quality and related quality of life ambiance.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    You are correct, Streck. Application was for rezone to a category called mutifamily, which allows personal care home as a conditional use. The dwelling is across the street from a multifamily zoned public housing project. Applications were made concurrently and both denied. Applicant moved in even before hearing with her charges, has neighbors inflamed.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    In answer to your original question, I have not heard of the term "six pack" in our area.

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