Posted by: Patricia Salkin | January 1, 2015

Fed. Dist. Court in IL Holds State Regulations Regarding Recovery Homes Preempt Local Building Code

Affordable Recovery Housing (“ARH”) is faith-based, Christian organization that provides housing and recovery services to adult men with alcohol addiction. ARH rents five buildings to run its services. ARH sought to house recovering alcoholics in two of these buildings. On May 24, 2012, the City’s fire chief ordered ARH to vacate the premises, in part because the buildings lacked sprinkler systems in violation of the 2012 National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code, which the City had adopted. After the court refused to grant a TRO ARH moved its residents in recovery off the premises and only ARH staff have resided there since. Then on September 11, 2013, ARH obtained a license to operate a Recovery Home from the State DHS/Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Under the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act, DHS provides licensure requirements for recovery home services.

ARH filed suit maintaining that DHS enacted a comprehensive regulatory scheme egarding Recovery Homes, and that under the DHS regulations ARH is not required to install sprinkler systems for fire safety purposes in its buildings despite the fact that under the Life Safety Code adopted by the City of Blue Island, sprinkler systems are required. The District Court held that the DHS regulations preempt the City’s Life Safety Code such that the City may not enforce its sprinkler requirements against ARH.

Affordable Recovery Housing v. City of Blue Island, 2014 WL 6461596 (ND IL 11/17/2014)

The opinion can be accessed at:

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