Group Homes for the Handicapped/Sober Living Homes

Group Homes for the Handicapped and Adult Care are dwellings shared by handicapped and/or elderly people as their primary residence and their resident staff, who live together as a single housekeeping unit, sharing responsibilities, meals, and recreation. The staff provides care for the residents. Group Homes for the Handicapped and Adult Care do not include nursing homes, alcohol or other drug treatment centers, community correction facilities, shelter care facilities, or homes for the developmentally disabled as regulated by ARS 36-582.  Sober living homes are a specific type of group home for the handicapped.

Are group homes for the handicapped and sober living homes allowed in Fountain Hills?  Yes.  In order to operate in the Town, the operator of the home must obtain a business license and register the home.  

How do I obtain a business license?  Applications for a business license are available through the Town’s website.  There is a $50 filing fee and the licenses are typically issued within ten days.

How many residents can live in a group home?  The minimum threshold for a home to be considered a group home is to have at least five residents.  The maximum number of residents is ten.

Where can these homes be located?  Because of Federal Fair Housing Laws, these types of homes are generally permitted in any residential zoning district, subject to reasonable zoning and other restrictions to ensure residents’ safety and welfare.  

Are there any local requirements or regulations?  In order to prevent group homes from becoming overly concentrated, there is a minimum separation requirement of 1,200 feet between homes.  Group homes are inspected by the Fire Marshal and the Building Official to ensure all life safety code requirements are met.

Are there any special rules for Sober Living Homes?  The State of Arizona has enacted legislation to govern sober living homes.  ARS 36-2061 et. seq. contain the State’s regulations regarding this type of group home.