Loading...

Florida Passes Sweeping Changes in Fire Code to Benefit of Recovery Residences

Written by:

at April 27, 2021

This afternoon, the Florida Legislature passed the Palm Beach County Sober Home Task Force’s 2021 proposed legislation, embodied as Senate Bill 804, which amongst other provisions, has now barred local building officials and fire marshals from declaring that a single-family dwelling or a two-family dwelling (duplex) has been “reclassified” to be, amongst other uses, a “Residential Board and Care” facility. This means those dreaded fire inspections which triggered sprinklers and other lifesafety improvements that are not otherwise required in single-family and two-family homes cannot now be required in order to obtain a passing fire inspection. This only applies to certified recovery residences. This does not apply to apartment buildings.

Not only are such improvements expensive (retrofitting a house for sprinklers can cost >$25k), but such improvements have been deemed by more than one federal court to be discriminatory (since we don’t require the same from families related by blood or marriage; recovery residences intentionally create the functional equivalency of a biological family).

A huge debt of gratitude and appreciation is extended to those who persisted over the past 3 years to see this reasonable and appropriate change to the Florida building and fire code occur.

SB 804 is attached and includes several other changes to provisions governing the licensure and regulation of substance use disorder treatment programs, including:

  • The bill makes it a third degree felony to falsify information, or to withhold material facts, on an application for licensure as a substance abuse service provider.
  • The bill authorizes the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to suspend a service provider’s license for failing to pay, within 60 days of a date set by the DCF, administrative fines and accrued interest related to disciplinary action taken against the service provider. The bill also mandates that a service provider pay fines and accrued interest resulting from violations of patient referral prohibitions within 60 days of a date specified by the DCF. If a service provider fails to remit payment within 60 days, the bill requires the DCF to immediately suspend the service provider’s license.
  • The bill also broadens the eligibility for exemption from employment disqualification for certain prior criminal offenses to specified employees of an applicant recovery residence and to applicant recovery residence administrators (until now, CRRA’s were treated differently by the law when it came to applications for exemption from disqualification, which has now been corrected).
Click here to learn more
SOBER LAW NEWS IS A LEGAL WEBSITE PROVIDING NEWS, COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THE ADDICTION TREATMENT AND RECOVERY SERVICES INDUSTRIES. THE ARTICLES REPOSTED ON THIS SITE TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT CURRENT TRENDS IN THIS DYNAMIC HEALTH CARE SECTOR AND THE LAWS THAT GOVERN ITS REGULATION AND GROWTH. OUR HOPE AND PURPOSE IS TO PROVIDE RELEVANT AND ACCURATE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC AND TO POLICYMAKERS THAT WILL HELP GUIDE THE PROVISION OF ADDICTION TREATMENT OUT OF THE SHADOWS AND INTO TRANSPARENT, MAINSTREAM HEALTH CARE. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS INTENDED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE. ANY QUESTIONS OF A LEGAL NATURE SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO AN ATTORNEY, AND THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE LEGAL ADVICE FROM A LICENSED ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE. BY USING THIS WEBSITE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU MAY NOT RELY UPON OR REFER TO THE CONTENTS AS BEING LEGAL ADVICE OR GUIDANCE PROVIDED BY JEFFREY C. LYNNE, ESQ., WITHOUT HIS PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

Comments

Loading Disqus Comments ...

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This