Township adult foster care facilities ordinaces stall again

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp.- On Tuesday, the board of trustees met to discuss possible revisions to township ordinances pertaining to Adult Foster Care Facilities in the township. It was voted unanimously to send the revisions back to the township attorney to make the language more compliant with state law.
“The township board, we are all of like mind that we are going to do what we can to regulate adult foster care homes,” said township supervisor Kathy Thurman.
The revised ordinance would read that two small group homes, housing six or less residents, would not be permitted within 1,500 feet of each other. This is the same distance rule as Larkin V. the State of Michigan, which ruled that a 1,500 foot rule violated the Fair Housing Act.
“We have no control over some things, and that would be one of them,” said trustee Bob Marshall.
Residents began advocating for an ordinance revision after a group home in the township opened and brought in two paroled sex offenders. The two were removed, however, residents fear another group home will be opened by the same owner on the same street. The township approved a moratorium on group homes in the township in August, however, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said they would not honor it on the grounds that it violates the Larkin case and the Fair Housing Act.

“The Larkin case says that, there was someone who tried to fight one (a group home) because it was within 1,500 feet (of another group home) and they lost,” said trustee Dana DePalma.
The Larkin V the State of Michigan case can be read at
“The ruling came down in ‘94, and LARA, that’s what they fall back on, and that’s what we’re stuck with,” said trustee Scott Broughton. “And no one likes it. It’s based on federal law, not just state law. So you need to look at that before you keep coming to us saying ‘you’re not doing your job’ because we’re doing our job within the law.”

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