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Saturday, July 12, 2008

St. Paul City Council OKs new 'sober house' rules

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.

13 Comments:

Blogger Bob said...

But operators say city will likely face lawsuit over limits
By Dave Orrick
dorrick@pioneerpress.com
Article Launched: 07/10/2008 12:01:00 AM CDT


Sober houses are now regulated in St. Paul.

But operators are vowing to sue to undo that.

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan that regulates sober houses, which act as regular homes, except that the men or women living there share the common bond of being recovering alcoholics.

The city estimates 37 exist. All will be allowed to operate as they have; only new ones will be affected by the rules.

The regulations are an attempt to placate a coalition of neighborhood groups that felt helpless to act when sober house residents didn't keep their yard clean, made noise or filled up parking spots on the street.

Under federal law, recovering alcoholics are a protected class of people, so parking and housing rules that apply to most homes don't necessarily apply to them.

The sticking point of the new regulations is a ban on having more than one sober house per block.

Council Member Russ Stark, whose 4th Ward is the birthplace of the push for reforms, said the new rules are fair.

"Sober houses have been an invaluable part of this community," he said, adding later, "I believe we've reached a reasonable balance."

But John Curtiss, president of the Minnesota Association of Sober Houses, said the new rules violate federal law and that a suit will test them sooner or later.

"This is a very sad day for the future of sober people living in St. Paul," he said.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

But John Curtiss, president of the Minnesota Association of Sober Houses, said the new rules violate federal law and that a suit will test them sooner or later.

***Federal laws and civil rights are only obstacles to these callous renegades in our city government.

I think when a city council willfully violates the law as they have here in Saint Paul over many housing issues, the city councilmen should be held personally accountable, financially and criminally.

Maybe if they had to consider going to jail for intentionally violating the law they may change their ways.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city violating the law with respect to housing issues are civil rights violations Bob and those ARE criminal. The lawsuits the ricomen are going after the city with are just civil, but when they are done.....if they can prove their case and get a judgement award, then the criminal part of it will start. There have been many many criminal prosecutions that start with civil cases like these.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometime it just hurts my head to read the stuff that is posted here.

Its a zoning regulation.

If sober houses are covered by the Federal ADA (and they are) then the City has to know that someone is a "sober house in order to give "accomidation" as required by the ADA.

So the first requirement is to actually inform the City that you are a sober house. What is in dispute is the distance requirement between sober houses. The city contends that if what is the goal of the ADA is to allow residents with disabilities to live in "normal" settings than putting multiple sober houses on one block is not accomidating people with disabilities living in "normal" neighborhoods.

There is nothing "criminal" about the City's desire to require service providers to not use sober houses as a way of block busting and hurting the potential recovery of their clients.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck said-
Sometime it just hurts my head to read the stuff that is posted here.
and
There is nothing "criminal" about the City's desire to require service providers to not use sober houses as a way of block busting and hurting the potential recovery of their clients.


I say-the majority at this blog aren't the only ones who feel this way Chuck >

But John Curtiss, president of the Minnesota Association of Sober Houses, said the new rules violate federal law and that a suit will test them sooner or later

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think communities are already protected against "Blockbusting" by State and Federal law Repke. People don't need Lantry bending over backwards trying to help them.....or are the people in your neighborhoods so damn stupid and incompetent that they need an airhead like Lantry to take care of them.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you had four or five of these homes on your block you'd have a different perspective.

Or maybe not. I'm sure the majority of the people on the blog are not here to be informed of anything. The come here to find like minds who think this city is as they see it.

Facts baring a different story be damned.


Eric

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well like the guy says Eric......there will be a lawsuit to decide it......another lawsuit! We'll see if your spin plays well with the court.

Meanwhile I hear that the ricomen are due in court again next month for Summary Judgement. Should be a walk in the park huh Eric? Wham bam thank you mam and they'll Be all done......thrown out and disssmissed right Eric?

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city web site declar4es Saint Paul the "Most liveable city"

What a joke!

Saint Paul "The most sued city"
because the citizens can't stand these assholes in power.

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric with 37 in St.Paul I doubt theres 4 on one block.37 sounds like a big number so they better pass regulation just like the Dems are famous for.

If alcoholics are a protected class and they can limit how many they can limit on a block.What would happen if they limit how many people in a wheel chair,blind people,or black-hmong-mexican people can live on a block.


This city doesn't care if you are of a protected class they will step on you.




Linda

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drunks and drug users fall under the disabilities act. They can even collect SSI from the Federal Governemnt because of their disability. The city will be sued and they will lose.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a case a while back where the city was sued over group homes down in the Battle Creek area. The city was taking illegal enofrcement action against the owners, who happen to be relatives of a certain NHPI inspector. The city lost and paid out a judgement. They lke out paying judgements, that's how they know if they're breaking the law or not. Every once in a while when the council is talking about doing something they make the remark that they should try it and see if there is a court challenge. Great people aren't they? They know nothing about civil rights.....do what they want and if no one happens to have the money to sue them , they think their actions are legal!

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nobody is going to get any money one way or another over a zoning issue like this.

The Federal ADA law says that cities have to give "reasonable accomidation" to people with disabilities. The ordance says that if you are a "Sober House" (a non-licensed building housing some number of people outside what is allowed in the city code - more than 5 unrelated adults)you have to ASK for "reasonable accomidation" prior to operating.

That sounds legal...

Next it says if you are a "Sober House" you are allowed anywhere in the City, except withing 350 feet of another "Sober House." BUT, you can locate within 350 feet of another "Sober House" if you can show why you need this "reasonable accomidation."

So, despite the tough talk of the lawyers the ordinance doesn't "ban" them anywhere. It just asks the people who own these places (private investors with no ties to any treatment programs) to follow the Federal law and ASK for "reasonable accomidation."

As to Linda's point, the City has discovered 37 Sober House's. The President of the West Seventh Street Federation testified to nine more that weren't on the list.

A reasonable estimate at this point is that ther are roughly 20 of them within one mile of Fellowship Club.

JMONTOMEPPOF

Chuck Repke

8:55 AM  

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