[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Schenectady 8-12-1996 as L.L. No. 3-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The city hereby declares its intent to be aware of the special requirements of group homes and of their residents as they are established and operated within the city limits. The city finds that such homes may be established according to state law or de facto by not-for-profit agencies or organizations and further that the same may be operated by agencies or organizations without other offices within the City of Schenectady. The city further finds that there have been occasions when responsible persons are not readily available for contact with respect to such homes when emergency conditions prevail within the city near or upon the location of such homes.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- GROUP HOME
- A facility of fourteen (14) or fewer beds either operated or licensed by the State Office of Mental Health or the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, or any single-family residence occupied by more than five (5) or more unrelated persons as their normal residence under the auspices of one (1) or more not-for-profit organizations or institutions concerned with or primarily interested in the needs of developmentally disabled persons.
- OPERATOR OF A GROUP HOME
- The agency, person, partnership or corporation (whether for profit or not) which has as one (1) of its principal purposes the establishment, building, construction, renovation, running, operation or creation of a group home, either at inception or thereafter.
It shall be the duty of each and every operator of a group home within the City of Schenectady to annually provide the following information to the Department of Development which shall then disseminate the same to the Police Department and the Fire Department of the City of Schenectady:
The name, address and telephone number of the agency or organization sponsoring or operating such home.
The name of the person or persons in local control of the home within the city.
The address and local telephone number of the group home within the city.
The number and description of the persons ordinarily residing in the group home, including any special circumstances or disabilities of such residents, including specifically any limitations on their abilities to respond to emergency notification and evacuation procedures, whether the same be by mental or physical handicap or limitation. Individual names of disabled persons need not be disclosed.
A copy of any plan for emergency shelter, evacuation or rescue that exists with respect to such residents, including the name, address and telephone number of any parent organization if such exists.
It shall be the duty of each and every operator of a group home within the City of Schenectady to annually provide the following information to the Department of Development of the City of Schenectady:
The name and telephone number of the person or persons locally responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and repair of such group home structures as may be leased, owned or otherwise occupied or used as a group home within the City of Schenectady.
The name, address and telephone number of any parent organization if such exists.
The Mayor or the City Council of the City of Schenectady may hold a public hearing on the site selection of any community residential facility as defined in § 41.34 of the Mental Hygiene Law whenever the municipality is selected and notified as required therein.
The operator of a group home shall pay a fee of fifty dollars ($50.) for the filing of the information required by this chapter to offset the cost of administration; such fee shall be due upon any initial filing and annually with the update thereof.
It shall be unlawful to operate a group home within the City of Schenectady without providing the information as required by this chapter. Failure of a group home operator to provide such information shall be a violation and shall render it subject to a fine of up to one hundred dollars ($100.).
It is the finding of the city that certain group homes, by their nature as shelters for abused persons, may suffer if their location is made known at large. A group home operator may therefore request nondisclosure of locational information to the public and personnel not within the law or public safety departments, and such a request may, at the discretion of the Mayor, be granted. In the event that the Mayor grants such a request, any locational information shall be redacted before provision of such information to other than the departments of public safety or law.