This afternoon, the Florida Legislature passed the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force’s 2021 proposed legislation, embodied as Senate Bill 804, which amongst other provisions, has now barred local building officials and fire marshals from declaring that a single-family dwelling or a two-family dwelling (duplex) has been “reclassified” to be, amongst other uses, a “Residential Board and Care” facility. This means those dreaded fire inspections which triggered sprinklers and other lifesafety improvements that are not otherwise required in single-family and two-family homes cannot now be required in order to obtain a passing fire inspection. This only applies to certified recovery residences. This does not apply to apartment buildings.
Not only are such improvements expensive (retrofitting a house for sprinklers can cost >$25k), but such improvements have been deemed by more than one federal court to be discriminatory (since we don’t require the same from families related by blood or marriage; recovery residences intentionally create the functional equivalency of a biological family).
A huge debt of gratitude and appreciation is extended to those who persisted over the past 3 years to see this reasonable and appropriate change to the Florida building and fire code occur.
SB 804 is attached and includes several other changes to provisions governing the licensure and regulation of substance use disorder treatment programs, including:
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