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Dating relationship definition law
Generally, they first examine the goal sought to be achieved to see if it furthers a legitimate governmental objective.
They then proceed to scrutinize whether the means designed to reach that end -- in this case a definition of family-- are reasonable. 1, 9, 94 S Ct 1536, 39 L Ed 2d 797 (1974), a case which upheld, as constitutional, a zoning definition of family against a challenge that it violated the equal protection clause.
Soon after deciding Mc Minn, the Court of Appeals considered whether a municipality can restrict the number of unrelated persons living together as the functional equivalent of a natural family, while allowing an unlimited number of related persons to reside together. The zoning law did not place a similar number limit on the number of persons related by blood, marriage or adoption. Also, in 1993, a federal district court in the case of , 819 F. Under the Fair Housing Act, it is unlawful for government to discriminate in the sale, rental or use of housing on the basis of handicap and individuals recovering from drug or alcohol addiction are considered handicapped under the Act. S.2d 769 (1992), the Court of Appeals struck down the city's definition of "boarding house" as not reasonably related to achieving the ordinance's legitimate purposes of reducing parking and traffic problems and controlling population density.
It is important for local officials, whether enforcing zoning regulations and building codes in combination or separately, to learn the law applicable to their respective area of responsibility.
the functional and factual equivalent of a natural family, and to exclude it from a residential area would be to serve no valid purpose." , 45 N. The Court explained that in zoning for stable neighborhoods in a single family district, local governments must include the functional and factual equivalents of natural families, as well as traditional families.
After White Plains and Group House, municipalities must define families to include groups of unrelated persons who constitute a family.
Such differentiation was not reasonably related to a legitimate zoning purpose, and therefore violated State Due Process. As will be noted later, an appellate court has approved a method for controlling groups of unrelated persons who are not a family. The Court expressly stated that its decision on the definition of family under the rent control regulations had no bearing on the concept of "functional family" in its decisions concerning local zoning regulations. The court determined that the town's interest in uniform enforcement of its zoning ordinance was not a sufficient governmental interest justifying the eviction of the residents of Oxford house, since it had a much greater discriminatory impact on the handicapped. In the Court’s words: "Because the prohibition against a ‘boarding house’ includes a family expressly permitted under the Zoning Ordinance's definition of ‘family’, the definition of ‘boarding house’ is overbroad, thereby inviting arbitrary application." I. stable, rather than transient living arrangements (except where the handicapped are affected); 4. Under this approach, the municipality defines all related persons and a specific number (e.g.- four) of unrelated individuals as constituting a "family." For groups of greater than four (4) unrelated individuals to constitute a "family," the group would have the burden of proving to an administrative official or entity (such as a zoning official or the board of appeals) that they meet the criteria set forth in the zoning regulations to show that are a "functionally equivalent family." Such an approach is consistent with the cases indicating that defining a "family" of unrelated persons is a factual decision. Supreme Court held that the city's zoning code definition of the term "family" is not a maximum occupancy restriction exempt from the Fair Housing Act.
The definition of family can affect the implementation of other laws unrelated to zoning. Guidelines to Drafting a Definition of Family In light of the numerous state and federal court decisions on the subject of defining "family," some guidelines may be gleaned as to constitutionally permissible standards. Preservation of the character of single-family areas remains a legitimate purpose of zoning. Zoning may not exclude a group which "in every but a biological sense is a single family" (White Plains, supra); or a household "which poses no threat to the goal of preserving the character of the traditional single-family neighborhood" (Mc Minn supra). Court decisions have indicated that the "factual and functional equivalent" of a traditional family of unrelated persons may be evidenced by the following: 1. a group headed by a householder caring for a reasonable number of children as one would be likely find in a biologically unitary family (White Plains 34 N. Many municipalities in New York have adopted this discretionary review technique for defining family. In enacting the Fair Housing Act, Congress recognized the distinction between municipal land use regulations--which are subject to the Fair Housing Act--and maximum occupancy restrictions, for which it created an absolute exemption.