City council starts sober home zoning amendment process

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. in downtown Scottsdale (File photo)

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. in downtown Scottsdale (File photo)

During the Aug. 30 regular Scottsdale City Council meeting, elected leaders took the first steps towards initiating a text amendment to the city of Scottsdale Zoning Ordinance to address structured sober living and group homes for recovering addicts in single-family residential zoning districts.

Recently, staff received direction from city council to initiate an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to address various housing and treatment facilities in residential zoning districts; specifically, facilities commonly referred to as “sober homes” or “halfway houses.”

In August 2014, a citizen group filed a petition with the city clerk asking the city council to “address the situation by enacting zoning regulations for ‘sober homes,’” according to the Aug. 30 city council report.

The main concerns raised in the petition were traffic, parking and public safety, the report states.

The objectives of this text amendment was to “integrate sober living into residential areas while minimizing impacts on neighborhoods,” and “craft ordinance that is consistent with federal fair housing and state statues.”

Next steps will be to draft an ordinance, and then began community outreach consisting of at least two open houses, according to Scottsdale Senior Planner Greg Bloemberg.

After the outreach, the ordinance may be tweaked, and then move forward to the planning commission and then the final step will be going to the Scottsdale City Council for approval.

The council voted 7-0 to begin the text amendment process.

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