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LANDSCAPE:Parks commissioner says survey shows no conflict

THE POLITICAL

Newport officials said Debra Allen lives too close to park to have voted on it.

March 26, 2007|By Alicia Robinson

Policy wonks can get their fill Tuesday. Park and sports field projects will be under the microscope at a special joint meeting of the Costa Mesa City Council and parks and recreation commission at 5 p.m. Tuesday, in conference room 1A at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.

Also Tuesday, the Newport Beach City Council meets for a study session at 4 p.m. and a regular meeting at 7 p.m. Highlights include renewed discussion of a decision to built Newport Center Park and possible opposition to a state bill that could prevent Newport from someday taking over harbor patrol services from the Orange County Sheriff. Both meetings are in the council chambers, 3300 Newport Blvd.

The next meeting of Newport Beach’s committee on group homes and drug recovery facilities is tentatively set for 6 p.m. Thursday in the Friends room at the central library.

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Support for rehab home reform bills

A bill to better regulate drug and alcohol recovery homes got a boost Tuesday when Dana Point City Council members voted unanimously to support it, but some Newport Beach residents are hoping to see the bill changed before it reaches a vote in the state Senate.

State Sen. Tom Harman, whose district includes Newport Beach, proposed one of about 10 bills in the state Legislature this session that address various aspects of group homes, such as drug and alcohol recovery facilities. Harman's bill would require such homes operated by the same business or person to be at least 300 feet apart.

That sounded good to council members in Dana Point, where — like in Newport Beach — residents are concerned about over-concentration of the recovery facilities. But in Newport Beach, residents at the first meeting of a city committee to address rehab facilities asked that Harman's bill be beefed up to restrict facilities within 1,000 feet of each other regardless of who owns them.

"We want more teeth in this bill, and that's where we're going to get our relief," resident Lori Morris said. "It's a good bill, but there are things that need to be changed."

But others think a more cautious approach will make the bill more likely to pass. "Definitely people want more. The problem is that there are so many legal ramifications of even moving this little bit forward," Dana Point Mayor Diane Harkey said. "If we loaded this bill up with a lot of our true wish list, it wouldn't even see the light of day out of committee."

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