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Thu, Feb. 27

Group home regulations up for review by Prescott City Council

PRESCOTT – A group-home ordinance that would put into practice the restrictions allowed in recent state legislation will be up for discussion by the Prescott City Council this week.

The issue is the only topic on the agenda for a council study session set for 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at Prescott City Hall, 201 S. Cortez St.

A city memo notes that City Attorney Jon Paladini would present “options for possible areas of regulation consistent (with the new state law).”

The legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Noel Campbell, R-Prescott, gives cities and counties the authority to more strictly regulate structured sober living homes.

In June, Paladini gave a presentation to the Mayor’s Ad Hoc Committee on Structured Sober Living Homes on the ordinance options, noting at that time that his department was drafting an ordinance that would be workable for the city.

Paladini said Friday, July 8, that his July 12 presentation to the City Council would be similar to that earlier presentation in outlining some of the regulation possibilities allowed under the state law. In addition, Paladini said the discussion likely would seek direction from council members on how to proceed with the ordinance.

“A lot will depend on the council,” Paladini said, referring to the timing of the ordinance, and the extent of the regulation. He pointed out that the council could opt for requiring just a basic registration, or could choose a more extensive ordinance that would regulate other areas as well.

In the past, the city has discussed imposing minimum age and education requirements for group-home house managers, as well as requiring certification through a training course.

Officials also have pushed for mandated exit policies, which would set out the procedural steps for residents who leave the programs.

City Manager Craig McConnell said Friday morning that although the arrangements have yet to be finalized, “There continues to be discussion about how to arrive at that house manager certification course.”

He added: “The conversations are still about trying to have that offered through Yavapai College.”

Yavapai College Director of Marketing and Communications Kim Kapin reported recently that the college originally offered classroom space and assistance with registration, and that offer has not changed.

McConnell said the city is working toward a council decision on the group home ordinance by September, but no date has yet been set for a vote on the matter. The new state law is scheduled to go into effect Aug. 6. Paladini has pointed out that the city could not implement an ordinance until after that date.

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