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(a) Intent. This section is intended to authorize the grant of relief from the strict terms of this Ordinance for Transitional Housing Facilities in order to provide equal housing opportunities particularly suited to the needs of persons entitled to reasonable accommodation under state or federal law, such as but not limited to, the Federal Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 USC § 3604(f)(1) et seq., the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, 42 USC § 12131 et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, 29 USC § 794(a). This Section of the Ordinance responds to the prohibition of housing discrimination based on a disability which is defined as:
(1) A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities;
(2) A record of having such an impairment; or
(3) Being regarded as having such a physical or mental impairment that limits one (1) or more of such person's major life activities.
This section is further intended to advance a legitimate governmental interest by regulating special accommodation uses in a manner that ensures that the use of land is situated in appropriate locations and with proper relationships particularly to the surrounding land uses, limits inappropriate overcrowding of land or particular uses and/or congestion of population, and ensures that public streets and facilities are not overburdened.
(b) Applicability. The provisions of this section shall be applicable to various types of transitional and permanent homes and structures which occupy dwellings and may include, but not be limited to, adult foster care large group homes and congregate facilities, and transitional housing facilities. The City Manager and/or his/her designee may approve a special accommodation use, subject to and in accordance with this section. It is further the intent of this Ordinance that a transitional housing facility granted a special use accommodation will be exempt from applying for or obtaining special land use approval under Section 3.03 and Section 6.27 .
(c) Conditions of Approval. As a condition to approval of a special accommodation use, the applicant must comply with all the terms of this section, and must demonstrate all of the following:
(1) The ultimate residential user or users of the property shall be persons for whom state or federal law mandates the City to make reasonable accommodations in connection with proposed uses of land under the existing circumstances;
(2) Taking into consideration the needs, facts, and circumstances which exist throughout the City and the population to be served by the use, the proposed reasonable accommodation shall be necessary to afford such person equal opportunity to the proposed use and enjoyment within the City;
(3) Approval of the proposed housing shall not require or will not likely result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the Zoning District and neighborhood in which the property is situated, or result in an excess concentration of such proposed housing in a particular area, considering cumulative impact of one (1) or more other uses and activities in, or likely to be in, the area, and shall not impose undue financial and administrative burden. The interests of the City shall be balanced against the need for accommodation on a case-by-case basis; and
(4) No other specific Ordinance provision exists that is available to provide the relief sought.
(d) Application Provisions. The application for a special accommodation use shall include the following:
(1) A concept plan drawn to scale showing the proposed use and development. At a minimum, the plan shall include the following information:
A. Evidence of ownership; location and description of site; dimensions and areas;
B. Scale, north arrow, date of plan;
C. Existing zoning of site; existing land use and zoning of adjacent parcels; location of existing buildings, drives and streets on the site and within 100 feet of the site;
D. Location, type and land area of each proposed land use; dwelling unit density (dwelling units per acre);
E. General description of proposed water, sanitary and storm drainage systems;
F. Existing natural and man-made features to be preserved or removed; location of existing structures, streets and drives; location, width and purpose of existing easements;
G. General location, function, surface width and rights-of-way of proposed public and private streets;
H. General location of proposed parking and number of spaces required and provided.
(2) A separate document that provides the following:
A. A summary of the basis on which the applicant asserts entitlement to approval of a special accommodation use, covering each of the requirements of subsections (c), (d), (e), and (f) of this Ordinance.
B. The number of residents served, resident services provided and the anticipated length of stay, and staffing and duties performed.
(e) Standards and Regulations. In order to determine whether a special accommodation use should be granted, the need to provide a reasonable accommodation under State or Federal law shall be considered and weighed by the City in relationship to the following:
(1) If the proposed housing does not constitute a permitted use in the zoning district in which the property is situated, the intensity of the use (e.g., number of residents in the residential facility) shall be the minimum required in order to achieve feasibility of the use; and
(2) The use, and all improvements on the property shall be designed and constructed to meet the following standards and conditions:
A. Taking into consideration the size, location and character of the proposed use, the proposed use shall be established in such a manner to be compatible and harmonious, as determined by the application of generally accepted planning standards and/or principles, with:
i. The surrounding uses; and/or
ii. The orderly development of the surrounding neighborhood and/or vicinity.
B. The proposed use shall be designed to ensure that vehicular and pedestrian traffic shall be no more hazardous than is normal for the district involved, taking into consideration traffic volume, proximity and relationship to intersections, adequacy of sight distances, location and access of off-street parking and pedestrian traffic safety;
C. The proposed use shall be designed and operated so as not to unreasonably impact upon surrounding property in terms of noise, dust, fumes, smoke, air, water, odor, light and/or vibration, and shall not unreasonably impact upon persons perceiving the use in terms of aesthetics;
D. The proposed use shall be such that the location and height of buildings or structures and location, nature and height of walls, fences and landscaping will not interfere with or discourage the appropriate development and use of adjacent land and buildings and will not have a detrimental effect upon their value;
E. The proposed use shall be designed, located, planned and operated in such a manner that the public health, safety and welfare will be protected; and
F. The proposed use shall be designed and operated so as not to cause substantial injury to the value of other property in the neighborhood in which it is to be located and will not be detrimental to existing and/or other permitted land uses in the zoning district.
(f) Design Standards. All regulations and standards for buildings, structures and site improvements within the district in which the property is situated shall apply, subject to the right of the City Manager and/or his/her designee to alter and supplement such standards and regulations the City Manager and/or his/her designee finds to be needed and reasonably proportionate to the impacts of the use given the facts and circumstances attendant to a particular case. In rendering a decision, the City Manager and/or his/her designee will weigh the need or extent of the accommodation which may be required, against the spirit of this Ordinance to ensure that public safety is secured, and substantial justice done, and that the essential character of the neighborhood and/or district is not altered.
(g) Conditions. In connection with the approval of a special accommodation use, the City Council may impose such conditions as are authorized by law.
(h) Effect of Approval.
(1) Approval of a special accommodation use shall be solely for the benefit of the particular class of users who were the basis of requiring the City to make a reasonable accommodation under applicable state and/or federal law, and not for the benefit of any other persons. Accordingly, the effect of an approval under this section shall be for the exclusive benefit and occupancy of such class of persons. If a change in such use occurs such that it is occupied by others, the regulations applicable within the district in which the property is situated shall thereupon immediately and fully apply. An approval under this section shall not be final until such time as the applicant records an affidavit at the office of the register of deeds in connection with the property, in a form approved by the City Attorney, providing notice of the terms of this provision.
(2) An approval under this section shall be effective for a period of one (1) year and shall thereafter be void unless there is an occurrence of actual occupancy by persons for whom the special accommodation has been made in granting approval.
(3) Special accommodation uses shall obtain a certificate of registration in accordance with Chapter 1460, Residential Rental Properties, of the Code.