CHAPTER 4-11: STRUCTURED SOBER LIVING HOMES

SECTIONS:

4-11-1:    INTENT:

4-11-2:    DEFINITIONS:

4-11-3:    LICENSE REQUIRED:

4-11-4:    LICENSE APPLICATION:

4-11-5:    ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE:

4-11-6:    STANDARDS FOR THE OPERATION OF A STRUCTURED SOBER LIVING HOME:

4-11-7:    OPERATING RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR STRUCTURED SOBER LIVING HOMES:

4-11-8:    CERTIFICATION OF THE HOUSE MANAGER:

4-11-9:    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR HOUSE MANAGERS:

4-11-10:    REPORTING VIOLATIONS:

4-11-12:    REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION:

4-11-13:    VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES:

4-11-1 INTENT:

The intent of this chapter is to protect the residents of structured sober living homes from operators who engage in abuse, neglect, mistreatment, fraud, and/or inadequate supervision of this vulnerable population as well as to protect the residents of structured sober living homes and the neighboring community from operators who fail to provide the supportive, residential family-like living environment necessary to achieve and maintain sobriety. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-2 DEFINITIONS:

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

"House manager" means a staff member, regardless of title, whether live-in or on a shift basis, who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the structured sober living home. A house manager is responsible for maintaining and managing a sober living environment, keeping the house running smoothly and maintaining a clean and sanitary environment at all times. House manager duties include creating a safe, supportive and caring home environment in which the residents continue their recovery, and providing regularly scheduled opportunities for the residents to grow in their understanding of recovery. House manager duties may also include coordinating aspects of the resident’s transportation, meals, activities and meetings.

"Operator" means a company, business or individual who provides structured sober living home services including the placement of individuals in a residence, setting house rules, and governing behavior of the occupants as residents of the home. An operator does not include a property owner or property manager that exclusively handles real estate contracting, property management, and leasing of the property and who does not otherwise meet the definition of operator.

"Structured sober living home" means any community residence for people in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction that provides alcohol-free and drug-free housing that promotes independent living and life skill development and provides structured activities directed primarily toward recovering from substance use disorders in a staff-supervised setting. The residents of a structured sober living home receive outpatient behavioral health services for substance abuse and/or addiction treatment while living in the home. The primary function of a structured sober living home is residential; it does not provide any treatment services on site.

A structured sober living home emulates a biological family with residents sharing housekeeping responsibilities as well as the kitchen, bathrooms, living room and other common areas of the dwelling unit, and sometimes bedrooms. Remaining clean and sober is a condition of living in the house, and residents support one another to move forward toward independent living and away from chemical dependency.

A "structured sober living home" does not include (1) a private residence in which a related family member is required to receive outpatient behavioral health services for substance abuse or addiction treatment as a condition of continuing to reside in the family dwelling; (2) a self-governed community residence for people in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction who need the mutual support furnished by the other residents of the community residence to facilitate their recovery, normalization, and integration into the community and that is not necessarily affiliated with a specific behavioral health services treatment program; or (3) sober living community residences that are licensed or otherwise subject to oversight by the state of Arizona or homes for probationers or parolees under a contract with Yavapai County, the state of Arizona or a contractor of the state or county where the contract sets out minimum standards for operation, supervision or care of the residents, or where the state, county or contractor thereof otherwise provides oversight of such operation, supervision or care. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-3 LICENSE REQUIRED:

(A) No structured sober living home may operate within the City of Prescott without first obtaining a license as provided in this chapter. No person shall open or operate a structured sober living home or start working for a structured sober living home until the information required in this section has been provided to the City of Prescott. Such persons shall be responsible for updating any of this information to keep it current.

(B) Any structured sober living home in existence as of the date on which the ordinance codified in this chapter is adopted must apply for this license within sixty (60) days of the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter. Any structured sober living home that comes into existence upon or after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall have one hundred eighty (180) days from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter comply with its provisions.

(C) Any existing structured sober living home may apply to the City Manager or designee for up to an additional one hundred eighty (180) days to obtain this license if the home is obligated by a written lease longer than one (1) year from the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter or its activity involves investment of money in leasehold or improvements such that a longer period to obtain this license is necessary to prevent undue financial hardship.

(D) It is the policy of the City of Prescott to provide a reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities seeking fair access to housing in the application of these regulations as required by federal and state fair housing laws (42 U.S.C. § 3600 and A.R.S. § 41-1491 et seq.). An applicant for this license may seek a reasonable accommodation for relief from the strict application of this chapter by submitting an application to the City of Prescott as prescribed by Section 4-11-12. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-4 LICENSE APPLICATION:

(A) Every applicant for a license to operate a structured sober living home shall provide the following information and documentation:

1. The name and full street address of the structured sober living home;

2. The name, full street address, mobile and land phone numbers, email address, and driver’s license or government issued identification number of the owner/operator of the structured sober living home;

3. After a house manager is hired, each house manager’s name, full home living street address, mobile and land phone numbers, email address, and driver’s license or government issued identification number;

4. The name, full street address, email address, and contact land and mobile telephone numbers of the property owner;

5. If the property is leased to the operator/owner of the structured sober living home, a copy of the lease that states that the property will be used as a structured sober living home;

6. Supervision requirements in the structured sober living home for the residents during all hours of operation;

7. The operation plan that facilitates the rehabilitative process and that addresses the maintenance of the property and noise abatement consistent with local ordinances;

8. The structured sober living home’s rules and regulations, written intake procedures and relapse policy, and discharge plan;

9. An affirmation by the owner/operator that only residents (other than the house manager(s)) who have the disability of addiction to drugs and/or alcohol as defined by state and federal law are eligible to reside at the structured sober living home and the home will not admit persons who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others such as persons on the sex offender registry or prison pre-parolee;

10. A blank copy of every form that residents and potential residents are required to complete;

11. A signed waiver by the owner or operator agreeing to allow entry into the common areas – living room, kitchen, dining room, back or side yard, etc. – of a structured sober living home by a police or code enforcement officer upon demonstration that probable cause exists to believe that a violation of Chapter 4-6 exists;

12. A signed and dated safety self-assessment checklist confirming that the following safety devices are installed and fully functional as well as a schedule for self-inspecting each device:

(a) Functioning smoke detectors in the sleeping rooms;

(b) Functioning carbon monoxide detectors;

(c) Functioning fire extinguishers in plain sight and/or clearly marked locations;

(d) Interior and exterior of the property is in a functional, safe and clean condition and free of fire hazards;

13. A copy of the floor plan of the house that shows the layout, location, and size of each bedroom, and the number of beds in each bedroom. The applicant shall include:

(a) The maximum number of residents proposed to occupy the home now and in the future;

(b) The number and square footage of each room to be occupied as a bedroom, excluding closet space;

(c) The fee for the cost of processing of the application as set by resolution of the City Council of the City of Prescott. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-5 ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE:

(A) The City of Prescott shall issue the license required by this chapter as an administrative or ministerial matter if the applicant is in compliance or has agreed to comply with requirements set forth in this chapter.

(B) The City of Prescott shall deny the license for a structured sober living home and may deny any transfer of a current license or revoke a current license due to a violation of the rules and regulations of this chapter or under the following circumstances:

1. The owner or operator has provided materially false or misleading information on its application or omitted any pertinent information;

2. Any owner or operator has an employment history in which he or she was terminated during the prior five (5) years or any staff person has an employment history in which he or she was terminated in the prior year, due to physical assault, sexual harassment, embezzlement, theft, falsifying a drug test, or selling or furnishing illegal drugs or alcohol;

3. Any owner, operator, or staff person refuses entry into a structured sober living home upon request by a police or code enforcement officer upon demonstration that probable cause exists to believe that a violation of this chapter exists;

4. Any owner or operator:

(a) Has been convicted or pled nolo contendere to any sex offense committed within ten (10) years prior to the date of the application for this license for which the person is required to register as a sex offender;

(b) Has been convicted or pled nolo contendere to any arson offense committed within seven (7) years prior to the date of the application for this license;

(c) Has been convicted or pled nolo contendere to any violent felony which involved doing bodily harm to another person committed within ten (10) years prior to the date of the application for this license;

(d) Has been convicted or pled nolo contendere to the unlawful sale or furnishing of any controlled substances committed within seven (7) years prior to the date of the application for this license;

(e) Is on parole or formal probation supervision on the date of the submittal of the application for this license or at any time thereafter;

(f) Has admitted to a structured sober living home a resident, other than the house manager, who is not in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction and not handicapped as defined by the Fair Housing Act and the Arizona Fair Housing Act.

(C) The City of Prescott may deny the license for a structured sober living home, and may deny the transfer of a current license or revoke a current license due to any of the following additional circumstances:

1. Any owner or operator of a structured sober living home who is in recovery from drug and/or alcohol addiction who has been clean and sober for fewer than two (2) full years as of the date of application for this license or the date of employment;

2. The owner or operator of a structured sober living home fails to take immediate measures to remove or isolate any resident of the home from contact with all other sober residents if a resident uses alcohol or illegally uses prescription or nonprescription drugs, or fails to actively participate in a legitimate recovery program;

3. For any other significant and/or repeated violations of these rules, and/or any other applicable laws and/or regulations;

4. Repeated violations of the operating rules and regulations submitted as part of the application for the license, the supervision requirements in the structured sober living home for the residents during hours of operation, the structured sober living home’s rules and regulations, written intake procedures, relapse policy, or discharge procedure and policy. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-6 STANDARDS FOR THE OPERATION OF A STRUCTURED SOBER LIVING HOME:

(A) If the structured sober living home operator is not the property owner, the operator must obtain written approval from the property owner to operate a community residence at the property as shown on the lease or other properly executed document.

(B) Like all properties in the City of Prescott, the property must be maintained in full compliance with all City building codes, the Prescott Municipal Code, and the Prescott Land Development Code.

(C) An individual required to register under Arizona law as a sex offender and classified as a Level II or Level III community risk (intermediate to high risk) is not permitted to live in a structured sober living home.

(D) A structured sober living home shall provide a clean, safe, substance-free living environment in which:

1. Case management is provided to help residents receive substance abuse treatment, community-based recovery services, or both, for sustained recovery;

2. At least one (1) staff member is available on the premises at all times; and

3. The owner or operator is available on call at all times.

(E) A structured sober living home must have Naloxone (Narcan) available on the premises for use by persons living in the sober home, all of whom must have received training to administer Naloxone within one (1) week of admission to the home.

(F) A structured sober living home shall provide qualified staff with an understanding of:

1. Substance use disorders;

2. Co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders; and

3. Recovery principles.

(G) The owner or operator of a structured sober living home shall acquire and maintain commercial general liability insurance of at least one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in coverage per occurrence and at least three million dollars ($3,000,000.00) aggregate or at least one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) general liability per occurrence and at least two million dollars ($2,000,000.00) general aggregate coverage with at least one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) umbrella coverage. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-7 OPERATING RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR STRUCTURED SOBER LIVING HOMES:

Each operator of a structured sober living home shall adopt and enforce operating rules and regulations that meet or exceed the following minimum standards:

(A) The house rules and regulations that address the following issues and include a statement that violating these rules will result in consequences up to and include immediate discharge:

1. Theft by residents or staff;

2. Residents or staff borrowing money from other residents or staff;

3. Attendance at weekly household meetings and participation in self-help meetings;

4. Requirements of residents to seek employment and the number of hours devoted per day to that job search; and

5. Completion of household chores and adherence to the house curfew.

(B) The structured sober living home shall have one (1) or more house managers at the home, at least one (1) of whom is present and awake at all times when residents are present at the structured sober living home and who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the structured sober living home.

(C) All residents, other than the house manager, must actively participate in recovery programs, including, but not limited to, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, and must adhere to the program’s applicable prescribed schedule and requirements. Under the structured sober living home’s rules and regulations, refusal to actively participate in such a program may be cause for discharge.

(D) The structured sober living home shall establish a protocol to assure that all residents have access to meals at the home whether the residents dine individually or as a group. Public, social, or charitable service-provided meals shall not be a substitute for these protocols.

(E) The structured sober living home shall establish a smoke-free living environment policy and/or designated smoking area outside of the residence that does not expose neighbors to secondhand smoke. If a resident of an adjacent residential structure is sensitive to secondhand smoke, the structured sober living home should make a reasonable accommodation for that neighbor. A structured sober living home may ban smoking from the home and grounds.

(F) A structured sober living home shall develop protocols to prevent locking residents out of the home or otherwise preventing resident access to the home at any time unless the residents are at work or engaged in some other approved activity outside the home. The purpose of the protocol is to prevent a structured sober living home from simply locking its doors and leaving residents loitering outside the home. Part of maintaining a family-like living environment is enabling access to the home as in a biological family.

(G) The structured sober living home’s rules and regulations must prohibit the use of any alcohol or any nonprescription drugs at the home or by any recovering addict either on or off the premises. The structured sober living home must also establish a written policy regarding the possession, use and storage of prescription medications. The home shall not dispense medications but must make them available to the residents. The possession or use of prescription medications is prohibited except for the person to whom they are prescribed and in the prescribed dose. These rules and regulations shall be posted in an easily seen site in a common area inside the dwelling unit. The structured sober living home must have provisions in place to remove the violator from contact with the other residents until the violation is resolved.

(H) The home must establish and maintain an operation plan that facilitates the rehabilitative process, including discharge planning, and that addresses the maintenance of the property and noise abatement consistent with local ordinances. The structured sober living home’s relapse and discharge policy must include options for eviction of a resident to avoid forcibly evicting a resident onto the street with no alternative living arrangements. These options may include, but are not limited to (1) notice to family of proposed eviction, (2) time limits on when eviction can occur where no immediate threat to the other residents exists, (3) travel arrangements to the resident’s home of record, or (4) alternate living accommodation arrangements or referrals. A structured sober living home shall not discharge a resident onto the street without an alternative living arrangement.

(I) The structured sober living home shall have a written visitation policy that requires staff consent of all visitors and prohibits any visitor who is under the influence of illegal drugs, excessive medication, or alcohol.

(J) The structured sober living home shall have a good neighbor policy that shall direct occupants to be considerate of neighbors, including refraining from engaging in behavior that would unduly interfere with a neighbor’s use and enjoyment of their home and property. The good neighbor policy shall establish a written protocol for the house manager and/or operator to follow when a neighbor complains to the home or to the City of Prescott. The good neighbor policy shall address the following issues:

1. Policies and procedures that, upon request, provide neighbors with full contact information for the structured sober living home’s responsible person(s) such as the operator and house manager;

2. Policies and procedures that require the responsible person(s) to respond to a neighbor’s concerns even if it is not possible to resolve the issue;

3. New resident orientation shall include how residents and staff are to greet and interact with neighbors and/or concerned parties;

4. Policies that are responsive or preemptive to neighbor’s reasonable complaints regarding:

(a) Smoking;

(b) Loitering;

(c) Parking;

(d) Noise;

(e) Lewd or offensive language;

(f) Cleanliness of public space around the property.

(K) Rules and regulations for residents of a structured sober living home shall be posted in a visible location in the home. The posting shall also include a description or listing of the consequences for a violation or violations of the home’s rules and regulations, including possible discharge from the home. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-8 CERTIFICATION OF THE HOUSE MANAGER:

The purpose of this section is to ensure that the house manager of a structured sober living home is properly trained and capable of performing his or her job in a safe, knowledgeable manner. Duties include general oversight of the house, both internal and external to the premises to prevent disruptive client and neighborhood activities, basic first aid and CPR, effective management of crises, medical and medication issues, and other interpersonal and behavioral matters. A house manager shall enroll in a course approved by the City of Prescott to meet, or provide proof of meeting, the minimum qualifications as set forth in Section 4-11-9 within thirty (30) days of being hired for the position. House managers certified under this section shall obtain recertification training on an annual basis. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-9 MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR HOUSE MANAGERS:

A structured sober living home operator shall have a house manager present at the structured sober living home on a twenty-four (24) hour basis who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the structured sober living home. A house manager shall meet the following minimum qualifications:

(A) Possess at least a high school or general equivalency diploma;

(B) Be at least twenty-one (21) years old;

(C) Is not on formal probation supervision or parole;

(D) Be clean and sober for at least one (1) year as of the date of employment;

(E) Possess the ability to demonstrate an understanding of the disease model of addiction; and

(F) Successfully complete training that includes:

1. First aid and CPR training and certification;

2. Infectious disease control and prevention;

3. Crisis prevention and intervention; and

4. Assisted self-administration of medication certification. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-10 REPORTING VIOLATIONS:

A structured sober living home operator shall not terminate any employee, evict any resident, or take any other adverse action against an employee or resident for disclosing a violation of any provision of the City of Prescott’s codes, based upon the employee’s or resident’s reasonable belief that the operator or an employee of the operator has violated or is violating a provision of the City’s codes. The provision applies to disclosure to either the employer or a representative of the employer who the employee reasonably believes is in a managerial or supervisory position and has the authority to investigate the information the employee provides and to take action to prevent further violations of the City’s code, or disclosure to an employee of a public body or political subdivision of this state or any agency of a public body or political subdivision. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-12 REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION:

(A) Policy. It is the City of Prescott’s policy to provide a reasonable accommodation in accordance with federal and state fair housing laws (42 U.S.C. § 3600 et seq. and A.R.S. § 41-1491 et seq.) for persons with disabilities seeking fair access to housing in the application of this chapter. The term "disability" as used in this chapter shall have the same meaning as the terms "disability" and "handicapped" as defined in the federal and state fair housing laws (42 U.S.C. § 3600 et seq. and A.R.S. § 41-1491 et seq.). The purpose of this section is to establish the procedure by which a person may request a reasonable accommodation and how the request is to be processed.

(B) Reasonable Accommodation. Any person seeking a permit to operate a structured sober living home that will substantially serve persons with disabilities may apply for a reasonable accommodation to obtain relief from a regulation, policy, or condition of this chapter that poses a barrier to equal access to housing.

(C) Procedure.

1. Application Required. An application for a reasonable accommodation shall be filed and processed with the City Manager or designee. The application shall include the following information and be subject to the determinant factors required by this section.

2. Submittal Requirements. The application shall be made in writing, and shall include the following information:

(a) The specific provision, regulation, policy, or condition in this chapter from which the reasonable accommodation is being requested;

(b) The specific exception or modification sought from the application of the subject provision, policy, or condition of this chapter that the applicant seeks;

(c) Documentation that the specific exception or modification requested by the applicant is necessary to provide one (1) or more individuals with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the residence;

(d) Any other information that the City Manager or designee reasonably determines is necessary to evaluate the request for a reasonable accommodation;

(e) Any other information that the City Manager or designee reasonably concludes is necessary to determine whether the findings required by subsection (G) of this section can be made, so long as any request for information regarding the disability of the individuals benefited complies with fair housing law protections and the privacy rights of the individuals affected.

(D) Fees. No application fee is required to request a reasonable accommodation.

(E) City Manager Action. Within sixty (60) days of receipt of a completed application, the City Manager or designee shall issue a written determination to approve, conditionally approve, or deny a request for the requested reasonable accommodation.

(F) Standards for Granting a Reasonable Accommodation. The following factors may be considered in determining whether to grant a reasonable accommodation:

1. Whether a less drastic exception or modification to the applicable provision, regulation, policy, or condition that achieves the same end as the requested reasonable accommodation is available;

2. Special needs created by the disability at issue;

3. Potential benefit that can be accomplished by the requested modification;

4. Potential impact on properties within the vicinity;

5. Physical attributes of the subject property and structures;

6. Alternative accommodations that may provide an equivalent level of benefit;

7. Whether the requested accommodation would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the City of Prescott;

8. Whether the requested accommodation would require a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program of the City of Prescott;

9. Whether granting the request would be consistent with the City’s General Plan; and

10. The property will be used by an individual with a disability protected under federal and Arizona fair housing laws (42 U.S.C. § 3600 et seq. and A.R.S. § 41-1491 et seq.).

(G) Findings. The written decision to approve, conditionally approve, or deny a request for a reasonable accommodation shall be based on the following findings, all of which are required for approval. In making these findings, the City Manager or designee may approve alternative reasonable accommodations which provide the applicant with an equivalent level of benefit.

1. The requested accommodation is requested by or on the behalf of one (1) or more individuals with a disability protected under federal and Arizona fair housing laws (42 U.S.C. § 3600 et seq. and A.R.S. § 41-1491 et seq.);

2. The requested accommodation is necessary to provide one (1) or more individuals with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;

3. The requested accommodation will not impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the City, as "undue financial or administrative burden" is defined in federal and Arizona fair housing laws (42 U.S.C. § 3600 et seq. and A.R.S. § 41-1491 et seq.) and interpretive case law;

4. The requested accommodation will not, under the specific facts of the application, result in a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or substantial physical damage to the property of others;

5. Whether the existing supply of facilities of a similar nature and operation in the community is sufficient to provide individuals with a disability an equal opportunity to live in a residential setting;

6. The requested accommodation will not result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the requirements of this chapter. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)

4-11-13 VIOLATIONS AND PENALTIES:

(A) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as affecting the ability of the City of Prescott to initiate or continue concurrent or subsequent criminal prosecution or civil code enforcement actions for any violation of the City code or state law arising out of the circumstances necessitating the application of this chapter.

(B) The remedies herein are cumulative and the City of Prescott may proceed under one (1) or more such remedies. Each violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense and each day a violation remains unabated may constitute a separate offense.

(C) Any owner, operator, or other person who causes, permits, facilitates, aids, or abets any violation of any provision of this chapter or who fails to perform any act or duty this chapter requires is subject to minimum civil sanction of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) and a maximum civil sanction as set forth in Section 1-3-2. Each day any violation of any provision of this chapter exists shall constitute a separate violation.

(D) Any owner, operator, or other person who knowingly causes, permits, facilitates, aids, or abets any violation of any provision of this chapter or who knowingly fails to perform any act or duty required by this chapter is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. (Ord. 5006-1544, 10-11-2016, eff. 1-1-2017)