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No permit for rehab facility

Home’s co-owner says he’s troubled that it was denied papers needed to stay open. Others homes may be rejected as well.

January 22, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

Newport Coast Recovery has become the first drug and alcohol recovery home denied a use permit in Newport Beach under a controversial ordinance to regulate the homes the city adopted last year.

City officials also have recommended rejecting a use permit for the Kramer Center, a 12-bed, unlicensed treatment center that houses its clients in a duplex at 207 28th St. in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach could force Newport Coast Recovery, a 29-bed, men’s treatment center to close as early as next month, but the recovery home’s owner says he plans to appeal the ruling.

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“We believe we do a lot of really good work there, and I’m troubled we were the first ones denied,” said Mike Newman, co-owner of Newport Coast Recovery.

An independent hearing officer for Newport on Thursday quietly approved a resolution to deny the home’s request to remain open. Newport Coast Recovery operates out of a seven-unit apartment building at 1216 W. Balboa Blvd.

The center’s neighbors have complained about noise and recovering drug addicts smoking cigarettes outside the building. Residents also were concerned about Newport Coast Recovery’s close proximity to Newport Elementary School, which is down the street from the home.

Newport Beach officials moved to deny the rehabilitation home a use permit in part because it is within walking distance of a bar and a market that sells alcohol.

Newport Coast Recovery and just about every recovery home on Balboa Peninsula is within walking distance from a business that sells alcohol, Newman said.

The home also has never received any complaints from Newport Elementary School, he said. The apartment complex has interior patios where its clients smoke, so they aren’t out on the street, he said.

“I think the threat of rehabs to the schools are quite overblown,” Newman said. “None of the kids even walk by our place. In this day and age, most people pick their kids up.”

Since December, city officials have slogged through use permit applications for the drug and alcohol recovery homes a few days a month in public hearings in the council chambers at City Hall. A number of West Newport Beach and Balboa Peninsula residents have become regular attendees, voicing concerns over what they see as problems with second-hand smoke, noise and litter they claim the rehabilitation homes cause.

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