(a) It is the express intent of the Legislature to abolish and prohibit any zoning law, ordinance, or regulation which prevents or prohibits mentally retarded or mentally ill persons from living in a natural residential environment zoned "multi-family." Zoning ordinances shall not exclude a group home from a "multi-family" residential area solely because the persons residing in the group home are not blood related, and no such group home shall be located within 1,000 feet of another group home as measured between lot lines. The group home shall be required to meet all other zoning and licensing requirements of local and state governmental agencies.
(b) For the purpose of any zoning law, ordinance, or regulation in force in the State of Alabama and its political subdivisions, the classification of "multi-family" shall not exclude a group home in which 10 or less unrelated persons who are mentally retarded or mentally ill may reside, and said home may, in addition thereto, include two additional persons who need not be related by blood or marriage to each other or to any of the mentally retarded or mentally ill persons living in the home.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, nothing herein contained shall be construed to affect any such group home previously established and existing on the date of the enactment of this section.