Montgomery Township Supervisors have redefined the word "family" for its code books at a public hearing Monday night. As of Sept. 14, "family" is defined by behavior and not by relationship, per The Reporter. The amendment goes into effect five days from enactment, per the township. Director of Planning and Zoning Bruce Shoupe said at the meeting that the old definition required family be related by blood, marriage of adoption or co-habitate as a single housekeeping unit. The township public hearing summary report said the redefinition falls in line with the Fair Housing Amendment Act of 1988. The definition that was amended was enacted in 1993, per The Reporter. The new definition of "family" in Montgomery Township is as follows: "Any group of individuals living together permanently or long-term, as opposed to transiently or short-term, as the functional equivalent of a family where the residents may share living expenses, chores, eat meals together and are a close group with social, economic and psychological commitments to each other."Student housing, fraternities, dormitories, sororities, monasteries and nunneries are excluded in the definition. The change in the zoning ordinance was suggested by Montgomery Township Development Coordinator Marita Stoerrle on July 31, per a letter from the Montgomery County Planning Commission to township Manager Larry Gregan. The Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, according to the county planning commission Senior Design Planner Barry Jeffries, prohibits housing practices that restrict the choices of disabled persons to live where they wish and discourages choices in a community or development. The act also prohibits municipalities like Montgomery Township from restricting housing opportunities to people with disabilities in their zoning codes.