Sailboat Bend Sober Living, LLC v. City of Fort Lauderdale
Sailboat Bend Sober Living, LLC v. City of Fort Lauderdale (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir., Aug. 26, 2022): The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s decision in favor of the City of Fort Lauderdale against owners of a for-profit sober-living home, which houses people recovering from addiction. Plaintiffs sued the city under the Fair Housing Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, alleging that the city’s code enforcement decisions were motivated by hostility toward the disabled and that the zoning ordinance was facially discriminatory against people with disabilities. The court held that an ordinance allowing unrelated disabled individuals to live in groups of more than three in residential zones with certain conditions was not discriminatory, but actually favored people with disabilities by carving out an exception to the city’s zoning ordinance that otherwise prohibits more than three unrelated individuals from living together in residential areas. The court also held that the city’s denial of plaintiff’s request for an exemption from a fire sprinkler requirement did not violate reasonable accommodation requirements under the FHA or ADA and that the city’s enforcement of its fire prevention code was not discriminatory. Read the full decision here.