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In order to establish a Group Home or Adult Living Facility (ALF) in the unincorporated areas of Miami‐Dade County for a maximum of 6 persons, operators will need to submit a Group Home/ALF Application to confirm that there are no other legally established facilities within a 1,000 feet radius of the proposed site. If the requirements are met, the site will be reserved for 6 months in order to enable the applicant to complete the State of Florida licensing requirements. The fee is $237.77. The State of Florida requires a spacing verification letter indicating compliance with zoning regulations prior to obtaining a State license.
What is a Group Home? A dwelling unit licensed by the State of Florida (State) to serve resident clients and which provides a living environment for not more than 6 unrelated residents who operate as a functional equivalent of a family. Supervisory and supportive staff as may be necessary to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of the resident clients shall be excluded in said count (Miami-Dade County Zoning Code, Section 33-1[53.1])*. ALFs are considered Group Homes.
A group home shall be permitted in a dwelling unit provided:
- That the total number of resident clients on the premises not exceeds 6 in number.
- That the operation of the facility be licensed by the State.
- That the structure used for a group home shall be located at least 1,000 feet from another existing, unabandoned legally established group home.
How do I obtain a Zoning Verification Letter for a 6-month site reservation to establish a Group Home/ALF?
Complete the Group Home/ALF application to obtain a zoning verification letter for a six-month site reservation from the Regulatory & Economic Resources Department. The form may also be obtained at department offices at the Stephen P. Clark Center, 111 NW 1st Street, 11th Floor, Miami, FL.
Instructions for submitting a Group Home/ALF Application:
The Department will review the application packet for completeness and will not accept a package that is incomplete. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis; the Department does not have a wait list. See below for instructions.
• Application for a New Group Home/ALF:
- A brief letter of intent to explain the type of application being requested (new home, operator or owner change, etc.) accompanied by this form signed by the applicant/operator.
- Payment of $237.77 in money order or cashier's check made payable to Miami-Dade County.
- The property owner’s affidavit of consent (signed, witnessed and notarized) to use the property for a group home. If there is more than one owner then all owners must sign the affidavit.
- A legible photocopy of the proposed operator’s and property owner(s) driver's licenses.
- A spacing survey in substantially the same form as the sample provided prepared, signed and sealed by a licensed surveyor certifying that there are no other legally established group homes within 1,000 feet of the proposed group home. Please be advised that your spacing survey will likely only reflect the spacing from group homes already licensed by the State of Florida. The Department will also consider the list of group home properties that are reserved in the Miami-Dade County Group Home database which can change on a daily basis.
If the site complies with Zoning and spacing regulations, the Department will issue a zoning verification letter to the applicant within ten (10) working days indicating the site's compliance or non-compliance with Zoning Code regulations
A site with a closed/expired license will be treated as a new site and must comply with the 1,000-foot spacing requirement, as well as all other requirements for a new group home reservation.
• Request for an Extension
If you need additional time to obtain your license from the State, you must submit a request for an extension at least 15 days before the six-month reservation expires. An extension request must include Items #1 through 4 above, including payment of $237.77 in money order or cashier's check made out to Miami-Dade County.
The letter of intent must explain the reason for the delay, and include the following documentation: proof of application for the State license and copies of building permits, including inspection results. Failure to timely request an extension could result in the removal of the site's "reserved" status. The Department will not reserve a site for more than two consecutive six-month periods.
• Name Change / Operator Change
A request for a name change or operator change on a site will require Items #1 through 4 above, including a processing fee of $237.77 in money order or cashier's check made out to Miami-Dade County. In order to make such a change, the State’s internet site must show a licensing status of open/active. The applicant shall have 180 days to complete the change/transfer.
Once you receive your license from the state, you must submit a copy to the department. Failure to submit a copy of your license to the department prior to the expiration of your reservation could result in the release of your reservation and failure to comply with zoning regulations.
Please be aware that it is your responsibility to adhere to the deadlines and submittal requirements.
If an application for a site reservation does not comply with spacing or other Zoning regulations, the applicant may seek to obtain approval as a special exception at a public hearing. The application for a zoning hearing may be obtained at 111 NW 1st Street, 11th Floor. Said application will be heard by the Community Council of the area and the Council will determine whether or not to approve the request.
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