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Recovery homes will get one-year timeout

October 18, 2007

A moratorium on new group homes in Newport Beach that began in April will be continued through October 2008, the City Council voted Wednesday. The city recently hired new outside legal counsel and officials wanted more time to work on tighter regulations.

Some residents have complained that the city has more than its share of group homes, namely drug- and alcohol-recovery homes, and they are damaging the residential character of city neighborhoods. They also have criticized the city for not acting quickly enough and alleged that some city officials may have conflicts of interest on the issue.

Efforts were made Wednesday to put those concerns to rest. James L. Markman, with the recently hired firm Richards Watson & Gershon, told residents, “We know that our direction includes an aggressive approach — not a reckless approach, but an aggressive approach.”

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Mayor Steve Rosansky has been questioned as to whether he has a financial interest in drug recovery homes.

He responded by reading a statement that read, in part, “I have never at any time had any financial interest in the sober-living or group homes.”

He also reproached residents for what he called an “attempt to discredit me publicly,” and said they’ve hurt their own cause with such attacks.

— Alicia Robinson


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