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12-736. Group homes, exclusion of, prohibited; conditions; definitions. (a) It is hereby declared to be the policy of the state of Kansas that persons with a disability shall not be excluded from the benefits of single family residential surroundings by any municipal zoning ordinance, resolution or regulation.

(b) For the purpose of this act:

(1) "Group home" means any dwelling occupied by not more than 10 persons, including eight or fewer persons with a disability who need not be related by blood or marriage and not to exceed two staff residents who need not be related by blood or marriage to each other or to the residents of the home, which dwelling is licensed by a regulatory agency of this state;

(2) "municipality" means any township, city or county located in Kansas;

(3) "disability" means, with respect to a person:

(A) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities;

(B) a record of having such an impairment; or

(C) being regarded as having such an impairment. Such term does not include current, illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance, as defined in section 102 of the controlled substance act, 21 U.S.C. § 802;

(4) "licensed provider" means a person or agency who provides mental health services and is licensed by:

(A) The Kansas department for aging and disability services pursuant to K.S.A. 65-425 et seq. or K.S.A. 39-2001 et seq., and amendments thereto; or

(B) the behavioral sciences regulatory board pursuant to K.S.A. 75-5346 et seq. or 74-5301 et seq., and amendments thereto; or

(C) the state board of healing arts pursuant to K.S.A. 65-2801 et seq., and amendments thereto.

(c) (1) No mentally ill person shall be eligible for placement in a group home unless such person has been evaluated by a licensed provider and such provider determines that the mentally ill person is not dangerous to others and is suitable for group-home placement. A group home shall not be a licensed provider for the purposes of evaluating or approving for placement a mentally ill person in a group home.

(2) No person shall be eligible for placement in a group home if such person is: (A) Assigned to a community corrections program or a diversion program; (B) on parole from a correctional institution or on probation for a felony offense; or (C) in a state mental institution following a finding of mental disease or defect excluding criminal responsibility, pursuant to K.S.A. 22-3220 and 22-3221, and amendments thereto.

(d) No person shall be placed in a group home under this act unless such dwelling is licensed as a group home by the Kansas department for aging and disability services or the department of health and environment.

(e) No municipality shall prohibit the location of a group home in any zone or area where single family dwellings are permitted. Any zoning ordinance, resolution or regulation that prohibits the location of a group home in such zone or area or that subjects group homes to regulations not applicable to other single family dwellings in the same zone or area is invalid. Notwithstanding the provisions of this act, group homes shall be subject to all other regulations applicable to other property and buildings located in the zone or area that are imposed by any municipality through zoning ordinance, resolution or regulation, its building regulatory codes, subdivision regulations or other nondiscriminatory regulations.

(f) No person or entity shall contract or enter into a contract, restrictive covenant, equitable servitude or such similar restriction that would restrict group homes or their location in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of subsection (e).

History: L. 1988, ch. 142, § 1; L. 1989, ch. 58, § 1; L. 1991, ch. 63, § 1; L. 1995, ch. 251, § 23; L. 2014, ch. 115, § 5; L. 2018, ch. 71, § 1; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Protecting Group Homes for the Non-Handicapped: Zoning in the Post-Edmonds Era," Michael J. Davis and Karen L. Gaus, 46 K.L.R. 777 (1998).

"What Can They Do? Limitation on the Power of Local Zoning Authorities," Patrick B. Hughes, 76 J.K.B.A. No. 1, 28 (2007).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Special or conditional use group home permit; validity. 89-99.

Definition of "family" in city ordinance; consent or warrant required to search tenant's residence. 2002-16.


1. City council members entitled to qualified immunity because reasonable official would not have known of city's requirement to make accommodation. Keys Youth Services, Inc. v. City of Olathe, 38 F.Supp.2d 914 (1999).

2. Issue concerning whether staff members of proposed group home would be considered residents for zoning purposes precluded summary judgment. Keys Youth Services, Inc. v. City of Olathe, Kan., 52 F.Supp.2d 1284, 1295 (1999).

3. Denial of application for special use permit for youth group home did not violate section. Keys Youth Services, Inc. v. City of Olathe, Kan., 75 F.Supp.2d 1235, 1237, 1247 (1999).

4. Proposed juvenile group home did not meet section's group home definition for disability discrimination purposes. Keys Youth Services, Inc. v. City of Olathe, KS, 248 F.3d 1267, 1276 (2001).

5. Statute does not address group homes for sexually violent predators, injunction affirmed. Board of Leavenworth County Comm'rs v. Whitson, 281 K. 678, 687, 132 P.3d 920 (2006).

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