FARR WEST -- The city council recently approved a new ordinance that will address residential facilities for the elderly and those who have a disability. The decision was made following a public hearing.
"A history is in order here," said Planning Commissioner Lou Best. "Without a lot of details, we have had a rather contentious several months with an assisted living facility proposed in Farr West. We thought we should have an ordinance that addresses this issue."
The council had in the past refused to approve Season's Assisted Living, but eventually approved the facility after developer Anthony Marler filed a lawsuit. Prior to the lawsuit being filed, Marler had attempted to get approval of the site plan for the facility for more than a year .
Best said the planning commission had been working with City Attorney Ryan Shaw to draft the ordinance.
"In the process of doing this, we did find such an ordinance is required by the state of Utah," said Best. "We must have it in the code. There is not a lot of guidance from the state on what the ordinance should contain."
Best said the ordinance would be a safeguard for residents as well as for Farr West city.
"Any such facility would have to comply with the ordinance," Best said. He said they also would need to comply with licensing requirements from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
Best said the language in the new ordinance would spell out that no one who would be a threat to the health or safety of other residents could be housed in the facility. The ordinance also will address how close such facilities could be to each other, the number of parking spaces allowed and the size of the facility.
Anyone building such a care facility in Farr West will have to comply with the new ordinance in the future, and must comply with zoning requirements in the area where the facility is built, Best said.
Council members voted unanimously to approve the ordinance.