LANSING — The House Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance voted yesterday to approve House Bill 4095, which amends the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act to increase the number of children allowed to live at a state licensed residential facility. Currently, residential facilities licensed under the Child Care Licensing Act are allowed to provide 24-hour care to 6 individuals. This bill overrides local zoning authority to create a state statute to increase a home to house 10 individuals if the facility is located on a parcel of land 20 acres or larger. In response, state Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) issued the following statement:

“On the surface this bill may seem like it solves challenges to our foster care system, but the issue at hand is a local zoning issue and should be handled by the local zoning authority. The Committee has heard testimony from numerous stakeholders, and my office has received a torrent of communications in opposition to the bill. This legislation sets a dangerous precedent of an entity circumventing local government control, and the unintended consequences of doing so must be examined before making such an impactful decision. Good governance means thinking through every possibility before moving legislation forward, and unfortunately that did not happen with this bill. I hope that the necessary conversations take place before it moves any further in the process.”