Regulating Sober Living Homes – A Bicoastal Perspective

Ring Bender Partner Norman (Norm) Dupont co-authored with Florida city attorney Terrill Pyburn the article Regulating Sober Living Homes – A Bicoastal Perspective, featured in the May/June 2024 edition of Municipal Lawyer.  The article describes the intersection of sober living homes and the municipalities that they reside in, and the various federal statutory standards afforded to disabled persons such as recovering addicts.

Owners of sober living homes—residences that may not be regulated by state law—often challenge municipal zoning. These conflicts have resulted in a number of lawsuits nationwide, primarily concerning the restrictions that municipalities can impose on sober homes, such as location and the number of residents in a home; and the impact of a myriad of state and federal regulations, rights, licensure, and case law.  The article provides a comprehensive review of current federal case law and case law from a number of states concerning such issues, and sets forth key matters that municipalities should consider when addressing sober home location and licensure.