Zoning changes for Group/Sober homes
At its July meeting, the Board of Supervisors voted to advertise a proposed change for Whitpain zoning code to address shortcoming identified last year in the hearing for 813 Stonybrook and the property owner’s attempt to setup a sober house there.
Several members of WRO board of directors met with township representatives to discuss the proposed changes. The text can be found here: http://www.whitpaintownship.org/documentcenter/view/2698
There are several improvements in this update. First, it meets federal law – always a good thing. Second, it prevents Group homes / Sober houses in multi-family zoning. Of course, it does this by allowing it in the lower density residential zoning of R1 and R5. The issue here is that federal law requires it to be permitted, so it has to be allowed somehow (you might remember a similar battle against billboards when the Township chose to allow them along the turnpike in order to prevent it elsewhere throughout the township).
Several possible updates were discussed that we believe would provide Whitpain with a greater level of awareness and oversight. The question is: what would survice a lawsuit? The Township is investigating, and we expect to know more in the near future.