Group homes moratorium spurs lawsuit

September 18, 1998
A six-month moratorium on the establishment of new group homes and residential facilities in Iron County, Utah, illegally discriminates against the disabled, according to the Disability Law Center.
     In a lawsuit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City, the center's lawyers said the Iron County moratorium "clearly violates the express language " of federal and state fair housing laws.
     At issue is "Ordinance No. 159," which bans issuing permits for group homes and residential facilities for six months "or until permanent regulations are adopted, whichever is sooner."
     The Iron County Commission adopted the ordinance on August 10 in response to public concerns over the growing number of group homes, youth homes and other residential facilities in the area, said County Attorney Scott Burns.
     "We have been inundated with group homes and youth homes, and the commission placed a moratorium on permits until we come up with an ordinance that we feel will protect the public," Burns said.