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NEWS
By Maura Dolan and Jeremiah Dobruck | September 20, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO - A Newport Beach ordinance that restricts group homes for recovering addicts may have been motivated by illegal discrimination and may be challenged at trial, a federal appeals court ruled unanimously Friday. The decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal revived lawsuits against the city over a 2008 zoning ordinance that drove most group homes out of the city and forced others to limit services. The law was seen as a model for other California communities grappling with complaints about group homes in residential neighborhoods.
NEWS
By Jim Righeimer and By Jim Righeimer | April 12, 2014
Among the top concerns when it comes the quality of life in Costa Mesa neighborhoods are the negative impacts created by operators and residents of some group homes. Excessive noise, traffic, large meetings and smoking are among the complaints received regularly by the city from neighbors. At least 115 group homes operate in Costa Mesa residential neighborhoods. The state has licensed 37 of these to provide treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. (Treatment is defined as conducting group meetings, planning recovery or treatment options, providing detoxification services or administering medication.)
NEWS
By Alicia Robinson | August 23, 2007
Like any true compromise, changes to proposed rules for group homes in Newport Beach may end up pleasing no one. The latest group to become frustrated with the city?s efforts at zoning reform includes some property owners who hold permits to rent out their homes. The rule changes, which the City Council has not yet approved, would end the practice of vacation rentals in single-family districts. ?We are just caught up in the web of this unfairly,? said Craig Batley, an agent for Burr White Realty, which manages about half the short-term vacation rentals in the city.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | April 22, 2014
Morningside Recovery this week dropped its fight against a court ruling that barred it from operating group homes for recovering addicts in Newport Beach. The decision closes the book on years of legal sparring over whether Morningside could operate the sober-living facilities in the city's residential neighborhoods. Morningside requested that an appeals court judge dismiss the case Monday, but the organization's attorney, Ron Talmo, declined to answer questions about the appeal or why it was dropped.
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | March 26, 2014
Newport Beach plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that determined its group home ordinance is discriminatory. City Council members voted unanimously during a closed session meeting Tuesday to pursue the petition, City Atty. Aaron Harp said Wednesday. At stake is an ongoing argument over whether group homes in Newport Beach can challenge the municipal ordinance limiting homes for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts at trial. Many of the homes were forced out of the city by a 2008 law placing strict limits on them.
NEWS
By Alicia Robinson | May 21, 2007
New drug and alcohol recovery homes in Newport Beach would have to go through public hearings and obtain city permits, under proposed new rules that tighten restrictions on all group homes. Residents on the Balboa Peninsula and in West Newport have complained for several years that group homes, particularly for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics, have changed the character of their neighborhoods. The homes and their clients create traffic, noise and litter, residents have said.
NEWS
By Alicia Robinson | June 21, 2007
After years of escalating complaints from residents and months of information gathering, Newport Beach officials today will hold their first public hearing on proposed new rules to govern group homes. While the category of group homes includes various kinds of homes for the disabled, the biggest concern in Newport has been drug and alcohol recovery facilities and sober living homes. Some residents say the homes generate noise, litter and other nuisances. City officials took up the issue in earnest in 2006 and recently placed a moratorium on group homes so they could hammer out new regulations.
NEWS
By Alicia Robinson | September 21, 2007
The Newport Beach Planning Commission signed off on new rules to regulate group homes Thursday night, including a key provision that would require facilities such as drug and alcohol recovery homes to be at least 1,000 feet apart in certain parts of the city, Commissioner Michael Toerge said. Group homes that aren’t licensed by the state also would be banned in some of the city’s residential zones. After more than three hours of discussion, the commission approved new rules in a 6-1 vote, with Toerge dissenting.
NEWS
September 13, 1999
Elise Gee COSTA MESA -- An inventory of group homes in the city will be presented to the City Council Monday during its monthly study session. Two Costa Mesa group homes, which cater to recovering drug and alcohol addicts, have applications pending with the city for conditional use permits. The applications prompted a request by Councilwoman Linda Dixon to find out how many group homes there are in the city. "I think this survey will determine whether Costa Mesa has reasonably accommodated and whether Costa Mesa is doing their fair share," Dixon said.
NEWS
October 4, 1999
Susan McCormack COSTA MESA -- About 300 people are expected to crowd the City Council meeting tonight as council members try to define standards for group homes and decide whether to allow the creation of two such homes. The state-licensed group homes are now exempt from city regulations if they house less than seven residents. The City Council has debated the issue since June, when permits for the two homes, Newport Harbor Recovery and Yellowstone Womens First Step House, were initially approved by the Planning Commission.
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NEWS
By Tim Sesler | April 29, 2014
Last year the Daily Pilot published a list of the 103 most influential people in Costa Mesa ( The DP 103 ). Surprisingly, the newspaper missed the most influential quality possessed by one of those on the list: He's in fact a superhero who possesses the Joe McCarthy-like talent of recognizing Nazis in our midst. Yes, 75 years after the genocide of 6 million Jews under a program of state-sponsored murder led by Adolf Hitler, our resident Simon Wiesenthal testified to an epiphany that one of our own has "plans to focus 'enforcement' on specific types of groups" just like the dictator did in Germany ("Mayor asks blogger to apologize for Hitler reference," April 16)
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NEWS
By Geoff West | April 23, 2014
During the Costa Mesa City Council meeting April 15, Mayor Jim Righeimer used his bully pulpit — a sadly appropriate term in this case — to vilify me and four others by name for a comment I wrote as part of a thread on Facebook and for their apparent support of that comment ["Mayor asks blogger to apologize for Hitler reference," April 16]. None of the four actually wrote anything in support of my comment — they just clicked the "like" button. When Righeimer named me, he mentioned my blog, decried the fact that the editors chose me to be part of the recent roster of newsmakers again and demanded an apology for comparing him to Adolf Hitler.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | April 23, 2014
A Newport Beach-based chain of rehabilitation centers that had been under fire from state regulators for years has agreed to pay a $75,000 settlement and limit its control over residents in its sober-living homes. Until Tuesday, Morningside Recovery had been battling the state in court over allegations that it was running unlicensed residential addiction treatment centers in Orange County. The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs argued that Morningside essentially combined its seven sober-living homes in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa with three licensed rehab homes and an outpatient treatment center in Costa Mesa to skirt licensing requirements.
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | April 22, 2014
Morningside Recovery this week dropped its fight against a court ruling that barred it from operating group homes for recovering addicts in Newport Beach. The decision closes the book on years of legal sparring over whether Morningside could operate the sober-living facilities in the city's residential neighborhoods. Morningside requested that an appeals court judge dismiss the case Monday, but the organization's attorney, Ron Talmo, declined to answer questions about the appeal or why it was dropped.
NEWS
By Jim Righeimer and By Jim Righeimer | April 12, 2014
Among the top concerns when it comes the quality of life in Costa Mesa neighborhoods are the negative impacts created by operators and residents of some group homes. Excessive noise, traffic, large meetings and smoking are among the complaints received regularly by the city from neighbors. At least 115 group homes operate in Costa Mesa residential neighborhoods. The state has licensed 37 of these to provide treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. (Treatment is defined as conducting group meetings, planning recovery or treatment options, providing detoxification services or administering medication.)
NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | April 11, 2014
A former U.S. solicitor general who has argued dozens of prominent cases before the Supreme Court has agreed to represent Newport Beach in its bid for judicial intervention in the city's years-long legal battle with sober-living homes. The city this week hired attorney Theodore Olson, whose credits include Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission. Newport Beach will pay Olson $280,000 to petition the high court to review a case that opened the city up to discrimination lawsuits based on a zoning ordinance that pushed out dozens of group homes for recovering addicts.
NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | March 26, 2014
Newport Beach plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court decision that determined its group home ordinance is discriminatory. City Council members voted unanimously during a closed session meeting Tuesday to pursue the petition, City Atty. Aaron Harp said Wednesday. At stake is an ongoing argument over whether group homes in Newport Beach can challenge the municipal ordinance limiting homes for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts at trial. Many of the homes were forced out of the city by a 2008 law placing strict limits on them.
NEWS
By Maura Dolan and Jeremiah Dobruck | September 20, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO - A Newport Beach ordinance that restricts group homes for recovering addicts may have been motivated by illegal discrimination and may be challenged at trial, a federal appeals court ruled unanimously Friday. The decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal revived lawsuits against the city over a 2008 zoning ordinance that drove most group homes out of the city and forced others to limit services. The law was seen as a model for other California communities grappling with complaints about group homes in residential neighborhoods.
NEWS
By Hannah Fry and This post has been corrected, as noted below. | August 26, 2013
After six years of litigation,  a rehabilitation center long at odds with residents and City Hall has decided to move out of Newport Beach. Morningside Recovery, located in Lido Village, plans to transfer 36 sober-living clients to new facilities in Costa Mesa and other neighboring cities by October, said Mary Helen Beatificato, Morningside's chief executive. She declined to specify the other cities. Morningside's announcement comes after Orange County Superior Court Judge Sheila Fell ruled Aug. 19 that the recovery center violated municipal code by operating residential care facilities in neighborhoods.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | October 19, 2012
Seven of the eight Costa Mesa City Council candidates answered questions ranging from their stances on a city charter to recovery homes at a forum Thursday. The Eastside Costa Mesa Neighbors' Group, which organized the event at the Neighborhood Community Center, selected in advance five of 14 questions for each candidate to answer, though all were allowed opening and closing statements. Councilmen Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan, attorney John Stephens, retired certified public accountant Al Melone, former Mayor Sandy Genis, Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy and businessman Harold Weitzberg attended the forum.
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