NEWPORT BEACH — As far as demonstrations here go, this qualified as mass protest: At least 70 Lido Isle residents, most of them with grey hair, crowded the City Council Chambers on Tuesday night.
They were there to lay into city officials over a drug and alcohol rehabilitation operator who had opened a group home in their neighborhood, and how they thought the city was indifferent to their outrage.
That same night, the city had announced a major breakthrough in lawsuits against group home operators, and a few weeks ago, the city had signed a settlement with Morningside Recovery. It appeared that peace was on the horizon, at least between the city and the operators, and that Newport could rely on a set of rules to regulate the homes.
But the neighbors were another story. Adding to consistent complaints by residents in West Newport and the Balboa Peninsula about the nuisances these homes present, the Lido neighbors raised the intensity.