Municipalities may soon have no zoning authority or ability to require a special use permit for qualified residential treatment programs in all residential zoning districts. We are anticipating a vote today on House Bill 5981 and ask you to call your state senator in opposition. While HB 5981 was not listed on the agenda, we have word it will be up today for a vote.
Qualified residential treatment programs (QRTP) are child-caring institutions with trauma-informed treatment, requiring medical staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can house up to 25 individuals per location.
House Bill 5981 would make QRTPs a residential use of property for the purposes of zoning and a permitted use in all residential zones, not subject to a special use or conditional use permit or procedure different from those required for other dwellings of similar density in the same zone. The bill would prevent a municipality from requiring any type of buffering to decrease the intensity of the use in residential neighborhoods or parking requirements. Contrary to information provided to some legislators, the bill is not required by federal law nor does federal law preempt local zoning authority for these facilities.
Please call your state senator and tell them to OPPOSE HB 5981 if it comes up for a vote today.
Jennifer Rigterink is the League’s assistant director of state and federal affairs handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.