City Council accepts planning recommendation for personal care homes

Published 7:51 pm Tuesday, July 17, 2018

During Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, the Planning Commission recommended to allow personal care home businesses to only be allowed in the commercial district.

Councilmember Phil Long had set a moratorium on personal care home applications at a previous meeting, until the Planning Commission could meet and discuss a better way to inspect them and make sure all homes were safe for residents.

Currently, personal care homes are located in the residential and commercial districts, but Assistant City Manager, Roy Oliver believes making these businesses apply for a license and having the city be involved in the planning would alleviate a lot of the issues that they currently see in residential, single family homes.

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Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer had requested that all personal care facilities that are currently located in the residential district be grandfathered into the new plan, which they allowed.

Previously, business owners who wanted to open a personal care home in the residential district could apply under a conditional use personal care home, but with this new recommendation they will no longer be able to do that. However, the amended text would allow them to apply to get a zoning change. This would allow for both parties to still be involved in the planning.

Oliver explained that current businesses in the residential district can change ownership and they would still be grandfathered in, but if a conditional use home ceases to be used in six months they would be considered abandoned and have to reapply.

Oliver assured the Council he had looked into other cities, such as Thomasville and Tallahassee who had used this model for their personal care homes and it seemed to be working.