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City of Prescott Proceeding with Group Home Regulations

Friday, August 30, 2013

The City of Prescott Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously yesterday to recommend the City adopt a series of Land Development Code amendments related to community residences.

The recommendations are the culmination of a series of discussions and public meetings on how to address concerns about the clustering of group homes in residential neighborhoods. In making its recommendations, the Planning and Zoning Commission took into careful consideration the current Land Development Code regulations and definitions, the Fair Housing Act requirements, Arizona Revised Statutes and the City's General Plan.

The City Council will review these recommendations at the September 17 Study Session and may approve the Land Development Code amendments at the September 24 Voting Session.

The primary intent of the proposal is to encourage dispersal of congregate living arrangements, amending the definition of "family" and adding a definition of "single housekeeping unit". Additionally, the amendments revise the definition of "community residences" and create appropriate development standards for them.

Major Provisions

  • Changes from eight to six the number of allowable unrelated persons living together in a single-family dwelling.

  • Residences with more than seven people occupying them will be required to have a conditional use permit in multi-family zoning districts, and they must also meet development standards.

  • Establishes a 1,200 foot buffer zone between community residences.

  • Provides for additional regulation of community residences for the use of the premises, state licensure requirements, traffic and parking, smoking restrictions and compliance with building and fire codes.

  • Requires the City to create an application and appeals process along with enforcement policies to implement these changes.

  • These provisions would only apply to new occupancies if the Land Development Code amendments are approved by the Council.

As a continuation of this process, the City will also be exploring options to create an annual business license to benefit them through better police and fire protection and code enforcement.

For more information, contact Tom Guice, Director of Community Development at 928-777-1317