Layton changes ordinance for facilities that house disabled

Sep 20 2011 - 10:59pm

LAYTON -- In order to be consistent with state and federal regulations regarding institutions for people with disabilities, city officials are updating an ordinance dealing with local facilities.

While working through the conditional-use licensing process with Chrysalis Enterprises, which operates a facility at 880 W. Heritage Park Blvd., Suite 110, members of Layton city's staff noticed some inconsistencies with the city's regulations compared to state and federal regulations.

Last week, the city council voted to adopt a new ordinance approving the amendments to the city's regulations for facilities that house people with disabilities.

"Some are minor word changes, from handicapped to disabled," said Bill Wright, community and economic development director. "The most significant is the spacing requirement."

Previously, facilities that housed and helped people with disabilities could not be established or maintained within three-quarters of a mile of a similar residential facility. City staff realized that was an unrealistic and unnecessary restriction and wanted that requirement removed from the ordinance.

During the planning session prior to the city council meeting, Councilman Michael Bouwhuis suggested another last minute change. With the new wording in the ordinance changing all references from "handicapped persons" to "disabled persons,"

Bouwhuis pointed out that the correct and appropriate wording should be "people or persons with disabilities."

Wright said changing the wording again would not be a problem and that was how the new ordinance would read.

The amendments also defined a residential facility for people with a disability, as well as the difference between a small and large facility, which was a concern of the planning commission after the commission met to discuss the facilities.

In order to meet the requirements, the facility must have four or more unrelated people with disabilities who live at the facility. Also, there can be no more than two beds per room.

A small facility houses 12 or fewer unrelated people with disabilities, not including state-licensed staff that provides 24-hour supervision.

A large facility has 13 or more unrelated people with disabilities, with the same staff requirements.

City Attorney Gary Crane said Layton has not had any problems with this type of facility and is just making sure no problems arise in the future.

He said: "This is all just preparatory and updating the ordinance with federal regulations."

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