Valencia v. City of Springfield, No. 17-2773 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Springfield’s zoning code allows “family care residence[s],” defined as: A single dwelling unit occupied on a relatively permanent basis in a family-like environment by a group of no more than six unrelated persons with disabilities, plus paid professional support staff provided by a sponsoring agency either living with the residents on a 24-hour basis or present whenever residents with disabilities are present. Such residences must be “located upon a zoning lot which is more than 600 feet from the property line of any other such facility.” IAG is a non-profit organization that provides services in Community Integrated Living Arrangements in residences rented by disabled clients. The Noble home, in a Springfield residential district that allows family care residences, resembles other neighborhood dwellings. After its owners completed significant renovations, three disabled individuals moved into the Noble home. Unbeknownst to the owners, IAG, or its clients, Sparc had been operating a family care residence across the street for 12 years. The property lines are separated by 157 feet. The city notified the owners that the Noble residents would be evicted unless they obtained a Conditional Permitted Use. Their application was denied. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the entry of a preliminary injunction to prevent eviction, finding that plaintiffs possessed a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits in their suit under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601–31, Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. 12101–213, and the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 794(a).