No group home shall be established, operated or maintained on any premises unless authorized by the issuance of a conditional zoning certificate in accordance with the provisions of the zoning code. In addition, group homes shall comply with the following conditional use criteria:
   (a)   Licensing. A group home shall not be permitted to be constructed or operated until the agency, or institution operating such a home meets the certification, licensing, or approval requirements of the appropriate State or County and local certifying agencies.
   (b)   Building, Fire, Health and Safety Standards.  The group home shall meet building, fire, health and safety standards as set by State and local laws and regulations applicable to such a facility.
   (c)   Types of Dwellings. Group homes shall be established in detached single family dwellings, in two family or multiple dwellings converted entirely to group home use.
   (d)   Residential Character. The residential character of all structures shall be maintained. No structure approved as a group home shall have its character altered from its residential character. The design of a proposed new structure and any proposed remodeling of existing structures shall be feasible for permitted uses in the district in the event that the group home is discontinued, and will not be detrimental to the area because of substantial differences in exterior design or site development.
   (e)   Location. Group homes may be located in any of the zoning districts of the City except where residences are otherwise excluded, and shall comply with the district regulations applicable to other properties in the zoning district in which they are located.
   (f)   Maximum Number of Residents per Group Home. In order to ensure that these facilities are consistent with existing density provisions of the City's Zoning Code, the maximum number of residents to be permitted in any group home shall be: four (4) in an R 1 District; six (6) in an R 2 District; eight (8) in an R 3 District; and ten (10) in a R 4, R C, C R, and IC R Districts total residents exclusive of resident children of the staff.
   (g)   Off Street Parking. The Group homes must comply with the parking requirements for the District within which it is located and insure that adequate off street parking is provided for hired or volunteer staff, as provided for in Chapter 1167 of the City's Zoning Code.
   (h)   Signage. No signs shall be erected by group homes for the purposes of identification except a permitted street address sign.
   (i)   Spacing.  In order to prevent the creation of defacto social service districts and to reduce any negative impact on neighborhoods and the City, no group home shall be permitted within eight hundred (800) feet of the boundary lines of the property on which another group home in the City is located.
   (j)   Screening of Residence. The applicant shall provide documentation indicating the need for the group home, the specific clientele it will serve, and the location of similar homes operated by the applicant. No group home shall admit into residence any client until such client has first been screened by the licensee to insure that such client's history or present condition does not indicate that such client represents a substantial risk of physical harm to the client or to others; provided further that no group home shall be permitted to have in residence adult persons under probation, parole or conditional release, or adult persons being treated primarily for alcohol or drug abuse, or adult persons who have been convicted of the following crimes as defined under sections of the Ohio Revised Code outlined in (g) under definitions.
   (k)   Accessibility. Group homes shall be reasonably accessible, by virtue of its location or transportation provided by the licensee, to medical, recreational, and retail services required by its residents. and to employment opportunities, if applicable.
   (l)   Operation. The applicant shall provide a plan indicating the manner in which the home will maintain contact with neighborhood residents, to include a structured procedure whereby their grievances may be filed and resolved.
   (m)   Staff. The licensee of each group home shall employ a sufficient number of qualified persons to provide the services which it offers in such a way as to meet the standards and guidelines of these rules, on a twenty four (24) basis. No operator shall knowingly employ a person of questionable character or reputation, or one whose physical, mental or emotional health is such as to be a danger to the persons under care.
   (n)   Preference to City Residents. Residents of the City of Kent, and the County of Portage and members of their immediate family shall upon their request be given preference for placement as resident in any group home under this Code; provided, however, that such resident or family member must meet all other qualifications for clients as established by this Code and the operators of the group home.
(Ord. 1993-85.  Passed 11-17-93.)