Thursday night city leaders in Delray Beach will take the first of two necessary votes to implement new rules regulating sober homes.
A staff report estimated there are 247 recovery residences in the city limits. A recovery residence is a home where a group of unrelated people live together while they receive outpatient treatment for drug or alcohol abuse at a separate facility.
The ordinance for discussion Thursday implements two main changes:
-Requires all group homes be 660 feet apart from one another. The distance of a typical city block.
-Requires all recovery residences to be certified with the Florida Association of Recovery Residences. Homes would be subject to inspections by the organization to maintain their certification.
Delray Beach City Commissioner Shelly Petrolia said the changes would protect the people seeking help at recovery residences and protect neighborhoods which have seen numerous recovery residences open on residential blocks.
She added the distance rule will not apply to existing residences. But all recovery residences in the city will need to get certified, if the commission approves the new rules.
Patients battling addiction are qualified as disabled so federal anti-discrimination laws prevent municipalities from outlawing recovery residences all together.
The public meeting begins at 6 p.m. at Delray Beach City Hall, which is located at 100 NW 1st Ave.
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