Waiting for state sober living home rules, cities add their own restrictions; Jordan Rose, founder and president of Rose Law Group, weighs in

This nearly-4,000 square foot home in Paradise Valley is home to a sober-living center, but perhaps not for long. Zilllow/Phoenix New Times

By Lily Altavena | Arizona Republic

Arizona cities are in sober living home purgatory.

And so are the homes.

This spring, state legislators passed a law requiring sober living homes to secure licensing with the Arizona Department of Health Services. But that agency still has about 18 months of work left to get a licensing system up and running, according to Mesa Mayor John Giles.

In the meantime, cities like Mesa and Phoenix are using a 2016 law to create their own ordinances as a stop-gap measure to alleviate what some residents say is an onslaught of these facilities.

The Mesa City Council voted to introduce its own sober living home ordinance Monday night, which will require operators to be licensed with the city. The council is scheduled to adopt the ordinance July 9.


“Cities have a limited ability to regulate these homes and what Mesa is doing is smart. Neighborhoods can also take some proactive measures.”

~Jordan Rose, founder and President of Rose Law Group, who represents multiple neighborhood groups in protecting the residential character of their neighborhoods.