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§27-17-1. Definitions.

(a) "Developmental disability" means a chronic disability of a person which: (1) Is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments; (2) is likely to continue indefinitely; (3) results in substantial functional limitations in self-direction, capacity for independent living or economic self-sufficiency; and (4) reflects the person's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary or generic care, treatment or other services which are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

(b) "Behavioral disability" means a disability of a person which: (1) Is attributable to severe or persistent mental illness, emotional disorder or chemical dependency; and (2) results in substantial functional limitations in self-direction, capacity for independent living or economic self-sufficiency.

(c) "Group residential facility" means a facility which is owned, leased or operated by a behavioral health service provider and which: (1) Provides residential services and supervision for individuals who are developmentally disabled or behaviorally disabled; (2) is occupied as a residence by not more than eight individuals who are developmentally disabled and not more than three supervisors or is occupied as a residence by not more than twelve individuals who are behaviorally disabled and not more than three supervisors; (3) is licensed by the Department of Health and Human Resources; and (4) complies with the state Fire Commission for residential facilities.

(d) "Group residential home" means a building owned or leased by developmentally disabled or behaviorally disabled persons for purposes of establishing a personal residence. A behavioral health service provider may not lease a building to such persons if the provider is providing services to the persons without a license as provided for in this article.

§27-17-2. Permitted use of group residential facilities; restrictions.

Both a group residential facility and a group residential home shall be a permitted residential use of property for the purposes of zoning and shall be a permitted use in all zones or districts. No county commission, governing board of a municipality or planning commission shall require a group residential facility, its owner or operator, to obtain a conditional use permit, special use permit, special exception or variance for location of such facility in any zone or district.

§27-17-3. License from director of health; application; regulations; revocation.

(a) No group residential facility shall be established, maintained or operated unless a license therefor shall be first obtained from the director of health, except that a group residential facility for behaviorally disabled juveniles shall be deemed to satisfy all requirements of this section by obtaining a license from the commissioner of human services. The application for such license shall contain such data and facts as the director may require. The director may promulgate reasonable regulations for the conduct of such facilities, including, but not limited to, a statement of the rights of patients in group residential facilities for the mentally and physically impaired to ensure the adequate care and supervision of such patients, and shall have the authority to investigate and inspect any such facility, and may revoke the license of any such facility for good cause after notice and hearing.

(b) A group residential home is not required to obtain a license from the director of health.

§27-17-4. Exclusion by private agreement void.

Any restriction, reservation, condition, exception or covenant in any subdivision plan, deed, or other instrument of or pertaining to the transfer, sale, lease or use of property which would permit residential use of property but prohibit the use of such property as a group residential facility or group residential home shall, to the extent of such prohibition, be void as against the public policy of this state and shall be given no legal or equitable force or effect.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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