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For example, the City of Poughkeepsie zoning ordinance, in its definition of "family," contains a rebuttable presumption that 4 or more unrelated persons living in a single dwelling do not constitute the functional equivalent of a traditional family. 1994), the Appellate Division upheld the City of Poughkeepsie's definition of "family" against a challenge that it violated the Due Process Clause. Maximum occupancy restrictions cap the number of occupants per dwelling, typically in regard to floor space or the number and type of rooms.The ordinance provides an opportunity for applicants to convince the Zoning Administrator that the group is the functional equivalent of a traditional family. The Court held that it was valid to use a rebuttable presumption to establish which groups of unrelated individuals should be considered a family. These restrictions ordinarily apply uniformly to all residents of all dwelling units.In so doing, it avoids the constitutional problems associated with defining "family." Maximum occupancy restrictions may be exempt from certain provisions of the Fair Housing Act. On the other hand, rules designed to preserve the family character of a neighborhood, keyed to the composition of household rather than on the total number of occupants living quarters can contain, do not qualify for the exemption.While maximum occupancy restrictions are attractive to many municipalities, a strict quantitative approach may lead to the opposite result from that which the decisions endorse--a stable, single-family area.Unfortunately, these definitions occasionally exclude persons who should properly be included within the term "family." Both the U. Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals have not hesitated to strike down zoning definitions of "family" which are so narrowly drawn as to exclude certain family members or families which are not biologically related or are non-traditional. S.2d 449 (1974), the New York Court of Appeals held that a group home with ten foster children, headed by the natural parents of two additional children, could together constitute a "family." The Court invalidated a restrictive definition of family limited to blood relatives and spouses, which would have excluded the foster home.In so doing, the courts, in their opinions, have furnished guideposts which communities can follow in crafting a definition of family which meets constitutional due process requirements. The Court stated: "[A]n ordinance may restrict a residential zone to occupancy by stable families occupying single-family homes, but neither by express provision nor construction may it limit the definition of family to exclude a household ‘which in every but a biological sense is a single family.’" (Id.ZONING Any successful zoning scheme which purports to create and attain a single-family zoning district must contain a definition of family. This line of family definition cases has followed a very traditional path of analysis.

Many local governments, therefore, have enacted restrictive definitions of family within their zoning and building codes, and enforce these provisions against groups who do not meet the "family" definition, in an effort to keep out those who would otherwise cause or contribute to unwanted neighborhood impacts.

Since January 1, 2003, the Uniform Code has included several sub-units. The construction, alteration, movement, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancy, location, removal and demolition of “detached one- and two-family dwellings and multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) not more than three stories in height with a separate means of egress” are matters covered by one of the other sub-units of the Uniform Code, viz., the §101.2.

These sub-units are currently found in Parts 1220 to 1226 of Title 19 of the NYCRR and in the following publications, which have been incorporated by reference in those Parts: The Uniform Code is intended to address building construction and fire prevention concerns in a single code, in order to provide a basic minimum level of protection to all people of the State from hazards of fire and inadequate building construction. Consistent with the Legislature’s declaration of the purposes and policies, the Uniform Code addresses building construction and fire-safety concerns by classifying buildings according to their uses and occupancies, and providing standards that reflect the relative hazards inherent in those uses and occupancies. While the word “family” is used in the Uniform Code provisions referred to above, and in numerous other provisions of the Uniform Code, the concept of “family” is not as integral to administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code as it is to the operation of local zoning laws.

Courts have regularly found a legitimate purpose in zoning regulations which are aimed at achieving a homogeneous, traditional single-family neighborhood. To preserve this quiet neighborhood character, many municipalities have enacted definitions of "family" to exclude groups of individuals who, it is perceived, degrade the single family district.

"A quiet place where yards are wide, people few, and motor vehicles restricted are legitimate guidelines in a land-use project addressed to family needs," according to the U. For example, in college towns or resort areas, municipalities are often concerned about fraternities and other groups of unrelated college students living together in crowded conditions in single family areas.