Q: If you can tell us, what specific homes did you visit?
A: It was not my intent to target any specific home or operator or use but rather to generally understand the secondary impacts of group residential uses that can affect neighborhoods, like parking or traffic or secondhand smoke. One of my goals was to determine if group homes were operating independently versus collectively. In some cases, I noticed what appears to be a systematic coordination of meals and transportation. Stockpiles of food and supplies were visible in open storage areas. White vans were shuttling people throughout the community.
I also visited what probably is an illegal boarding house up to 17 men co-habitating. Newport Beach does not allow boarding houses in our residential zones. It’s a boarding house masquerading as a sober-living home. Each Tuesday, boarders are required to come up with $150 cash or they find themselves and their worldly possessions tossed out on the streets. That kind of living arrangement would certainly cut my expenses.
Q: What did you hope to achieve or learn from the tour?
A: I wanted to improve my understanding of the situation so that I can make an informed decision on regulating group homes. It would be a mistake for me to make a decision from abstract third-party information.
It is my responsibility to fulfill the voice of the voters as it appears in the General Plan Update. The first sentence of the Vision Statement of the voter approved General Plan Update is to preserve and enhance our character as a beautiful, unique residential community with diverse coastal and upland neighborhoods.