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Rehab home, activists settle

Concerned Citizens of Newport Beach says it has mended fences with Balboa Horizons, one of 10 homes named in suit.

June 04, 2008|By Brianna Bailey

The activist group Concerned Citizens of Newport Beach announced Wednesday it has reached a settlement with one of 10 rehabilitation homes named in a $250-million lawsuit.

The terms of the settlement with the Newport Beach-based recovery home Balboa Horizons will not be disclosed.

“We’re now in a position to provide the best care possible for the women that we serve,” said a spokesman for Balboa Horizons, who declined to be named.

Many rehabilitation home operators have been reluctant to speak with the media because of fear of retaliation from Newport residents in the wake of several lawsuits and a controversial city ordinance to curb the spread of recovery homes in the city passed earlier this year.

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Balboa Horizons is a 12-bed, 90-day residential treatment program for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, as well as mental health problems, according to the home’s website. The program is run out of a house on Balboa Peninsula.

“We are pleased we reached a settlement with Balboa Horizons. As a professionally run operator with a single location, we feel they are a responsible member of the community,” said Denys Oberman, spokeswoman for Concerned Citizens of Newport Beach. “There are other operators that have clearly demonstrated their lack of concern both for the community and those they profess to serve, and we intend to continue to progressively pursue those operators.”

Concerned Citizens also recently dropped its suit against the recovery home operator Miramar Health, according to court documents. The company has operated an outpatient eating-disorder clinic in Newport Beach and sought to open two small drug-recovery homes side by side in the 400 block of Dahlia Avenue last year.

The group also is considering settlements with one or two other rehabilitation home operators, Oberman said.

The activist group’s suit, filed in January, alleges numerous rehabilitation home operators have violated state and local laws, causing an over-concentration of recovery homes in the city. The group claims homeowners in Newport coastal neighborhoods have seen a drop in property values because of crime and other nuisances they say the rehabilitation facilities cause.

The suit names some of Newport Beach’s largest group home operators, including Morningside Recovery, Narconon Southern California and CRC Health Group, which owns Sober Living by the Sea.

The city of Newport Beach also is named in the Concerned Citizens group’s lawsuit. The group alleges the city has violated residents’ civil rights because it has not responded to its complaints about drug and alcohol rehabilitation homes they claim have overrun their neighborhoods.

Concerned Citizens for Newport Beach will go into formal mediation with the city later this week in the suit, Oberman said.


BRIANNA BAILEY may be reached at (714) 966-4625 or at brianna.bailey@latimes.com.

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