News about Recovery in Orange County and Its Cities
9/10/17 Leadership needed on riverbed homeless
Mayor of Aliso Viejo says source of rising homelessness in Orange County “… is the unregulated growth of sober living facilities…"
8/15/17 Aliso Viejo files suit alleging recovery homes are operating illegally
Aliso Viejo steps into the breach.
5/26/17 Aliso Viejo council hears appeal in lodging business case
12/7/18 Costa Mesa prevails in sober living operators’ lawsuit challenging city regulations
Costa Mesa does the heavy lifting while rest of Orange County stands by.
8/6/18 Costa Mesa goes to court to try to shut down 2 operators’ ‘unlawful’ sober-living homes
The city denied requests for permits to warehouse 28 wome
8/3/18 Costa Mesa to join Orange County in lawsuit seeking to block state-approved needle-exchange program
Program declared a nuisance because of its proximity to local schools and senior-living facilities
3/30/18 Costa Mesa hires high-profile attorney to defend against sober-living lawsuits
Keller will likely end up trying cases in front of the 9th Circuit.
3/28/18 OC Homeless: Costa Mesa Gets Their Turn to Say, “Not In My Backyard"
“'We have to call it what it is. It’s not a homeless problem, it’s an addict problem,
and until we treat it as such, it’s not gonna go away,' one man told the council.”
3/22/18 Lawsuit alleges Costa Mesa’s sober-living regulations are discriminatory and unconstitutional
Costa Mesa is the second densest city in the state. Here we go again. Where are our federal representatives?
2/27/18 Costa Mesa sober-living home approval for permit to stay open
Confusion arises over whether a state-licensed facility less than 650 feet away “counts.”
2/13/18 Costa Mesa commission denies 3 permit applications from sober-living operator and delays another
Business was putting up to 37 tenants at two addresses, close to a state licensed facility.
1/23/18 Sober-living home operator to close 3 facilities in Costa Mesa as part of legal settlement
Costa Mesa successfully addresses Recovery Residences operating without a license.
1/17/18 Sober-Living homes owner withdraws request for Costa Mesa permits
Another operator is operating the houses without permits.
1/9/18 Costa Mesa panel rejects several permit applications for sober-living homes and drug treatment facilities
1/3/18 Costa Mesa lawsuit allege 3 sober-living homes are operating illegally
11/7/17 Public’s help is needed to solve sober-living home issues, officials say at Costa Mesa meeting
Article heavily implying that it’s the public, not our representatives, that somehow must address this issue.
10/9/17 New Costa Mesa sober-living webpage aims to combat lack of information on city efforts
One of the clearest, most articulate examples of a city explaining its municipal code.
10/5/17 Costa Mesa council rejects permits for 28-bed Eastside sober-living home
Operators wanted permission to put 28 women in 8 units.
10/10/17 3 more sober-living permits denied in Costa Mesa
Planning Commissioners determined that there was another facility within the distance of all three homes.
9/8/17 “Granny flats” and sober-living permits are up for review by Costa Mesa’s Planning Commission on Monday
Costa Mesa will be reviewing two conditional use permits for Clean Path Recovery to operate a residential facility with up to 30 residents and 2 house managers in 8 units.
8/29/17 4 sober-living homes are rejected by Costa Mesa Planning Commission
Costa Mesa rejected an application to house 13 men in 3 units. Concern was expressed about operation close to a school. Also rejected: a property wanting to house 14 women in 3 unites and one seeking to operate with 28 residents in 8 units.
8/10/17 Costa Mesa officials, nonprofits help homeless man find way back home to Oklahoma
Man who was kicked out of recovery residence had no money to go home and became homeless here.
6/29/17 Sober-living home can remain open after Costa Mesa council backs owner’s appeal for permit
Tenants are required to work and pay rent of $180 a week.
6/28/17 Needed flexibility on sober-living homes
OC Register comments positively on Costa Mesa making an exception for a long-time operating Recovery Residence that was operating more closely than allowed by the city’s ordinances to two state licensed facilities.
6/22/17 Costa Mesa plans to fund $125,000 for state sober-living home inspector
Inspector will address Costa Mesa’s 79 state-licensed facilities.
4/19/17 Costa Mesa tightens regulations on sober living homes
“All sober living home operator would now have to pay for evicted residents to get back to their permanent home or to an alternative over living home or treatment center… They City also plans to… require them to disclose information about their business structure.”
4/14/17 Costa Mesa City Council to weigh changes for group homes and sober-living homes
Staff is recommending operators of group homes "make transportation available so residents who are involuntarily removed can get back to their permanent addresses of the ones listed on their driver’s licenses.”
12/9/16 Sober-living issue pulled from planners’ agenda
11/29/16 Officials at Costa Mesa meeting urge more regulation of sober-living homes
11/27/16 Fire at Costa Mesa sober living house under investigation
11/15/16 Costa Mesa panel rejects or delays nine sober living homes, approves one
12/6/16 Delay of sober-living permit hearings stirs frustration at Costa Mesa commission meeting
4/21/16 Judge: Costa Mesa's sober-living law doesn't discriminate against addicts
4/6/16 Solid Landings Behavioral Health shutting down 33 sober living homes in Costa Mesa
3/30/16 Costa Mesa's Not Alone in the Rehab Battles
10/13/15 Costa Mesa doubles down on sober-living home restrictions
8/31/18 Update: Dana Pont Residential Recovery Facility
Dana Point continues to publicize its actions against unlicensed houses
8/10/18 City of Dana Point Puts out Statement on Sober Living Home Litigation
DP indicates that after suing 14 houses for operating without a state license,
twelve houses have closed.
7/20/18 Reaching out to meet halfway: introducing Stephani Ogas, the woman at the center of Dana Point’s homeless conversation
Mercy House’s Outreach Coordinator for Dana Point and Costa Mesa speaks about
her work and encounters with homeless addicts
6/21/18 Dana Point asks nonprofit feeding homeless at Doheny State Beach to stop
"An increase in the number of sober-living homes in the area also has created a pool of
people who become homeless after they are released from the homes and settle in Dana Point,
officials have said."
12/8/17 Dana Point hires full time caseworker to help find housing for homeless
11/10/17 Naked man arrested on Pacific Coast Highway after wrestling with deputies
The Georgia man came from one of 65 sober homes in Dana Point. “He was taken to Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach for an evaluation, Himmel said. ‘Thirteen hours later he turns up naked at the library.’”
7/30/17 California Beach Community Sees Surge in Homeless Population
In Dana Point, "Orange County Sheriff's Department Lt. Russ Chilton, who is the city's police chief, told the newspaper an increase in the number of sober-living homes in the area has created a pool of people who become homeless after they are evicted from the homes.”
7/29/17 Dana Point increasingly a magnet for homeless and frustrated residents want city to get control
Dozens of frustrated residents address the city.
6/23/17 Judge Rules in City’s Favor Regarding Behavioral Health Treatment Facility
A judge found a residence was treating patients and therefore violated Dana Point municipal ordinances.
12/9/16 City Files Lawsuit against Health Group, Property Owner
11/16/16 Dana Point bows to residents and rescinds short term rental approval
7/21/16 Dana Point says it won't drop lawsuits against sober-living homes
6/24/16 Dana Point sues to halt two sober-living homes
7/29/16 City Put Sober Living Lawsuits on Pause While Waiting for Evidence
9/19/18 Huntington Beach cracks down on illegal in-home businesses, including sober-living home and short-term rentals
DA Rackauckas gave HB approval to prosecute under the state’s Business and Professions Code against unfair business practices
4/17/18 Baugh on campaign flyers: They are just making stuff up and throwing it out to see what sticks
Huntington Beach candidate affiliated with Recovery Residences finds campaign is taking heat.
8/3/16 Complaints about sober-living homes take hold in Huntington Beach
12/21/17 Short-term Rental Rules Rejected
8/2/17 Laguna Niguel extends temporary ban on sober-living homes
LN’s moratorium extended for a year on unlicensed congregate living homes until August 2018.
9/8/16 Laguna Niguel extends ban on sober-living homes
8/9/16 Laguna Niguel puts temporary ban on sober-living homes
4/1/16 Mission Viejo residents demand regulations on sober-living homes
7/27/18 Newport Beach doctor sentenced to year in jail for urine test billing fraud in sober-living homes
Last year’s District Attorney’s case goes to sentencing for $22-million urine test billing scheme.
6/13/18 Newport backs proposal for more local control over sober-living homes
Newport Beach City Council partially supports Rep. Rohrabacher’s bill but declines to take stance on
the portion of the bill that would remove “substance use disorder” treatment services as an “essential
health benefit” under the ACA.
6/8/18 Newport Beach City Council to weigh in on sober living, needle exchange proposals
The Newport Beach City Council will consider sending a letter in support of Rohrabacher’s
“Restoring Community Oversight of Sober Living Homes Act of 2018” (H.R. 5724).
7/15/15 Newport Beach settles legal battle over sober-living homes
7/25/18 Sober Living: Modern family or big business?
First part of an OC Register Series on a house operated by Sobertec in Talega/San Clemente.
5/8/18 Listener emails John & Ken to Warn About San Clemente’s Homeless Problem.
Photographs by an anonymous resident regarding homeless addicts
4/5/18 City of San Clemente Hires Law Firms to Tackle Opioid-Producing Companies
Has joined the National Opioid Litigation Consortium
11/30/17 City Council Sends Short-Term Rental Ordinance Amendment to Planning Commission
SC making minor modifications to STLU plan that restricts short term occupancy to certain parts of city.
9/11/17 O.C.-based Sovereign Health demands that FBI release document justifying raid on its treatment centers
Operator continues to act aggressively toward the government. “After the raids, the number of patients in Sovereign-related facilities fell from 280 to 165…”
7/18/17 Public Safety Task Force Hosts First Meeting
San Clemente has formed a task force to look at data about crime in that city.
6/13/17 Federal agents searching Sovereign Health rehab in San Clemente, elsewhere
This is breaking and important news: “The FBI, along with state and local officials, executed multiple sealed search warrants at several Sovereign Health locations on Tuesday, including the company’s offices in San Clemente." On 4/18, Sovereign Health employees staged a protest outside a San Clemente City Council Meeting, implying that they wanted a repeal of SC zoning out of great concern for their patients.
4/20/17 Another Sober Living Entity Sues City
Operator in San Clemente claims residents of a home were “verbally abused and harassed by groups of people opposed to sober living homes."
4/19/17 Rehab advocates seek repeal of San Clemente ordinances
Advocates for Responsible Treatment believes these people are all employed in the industry and were sent to protest by their employers.
1/05/17 San Clemente: Some things to watch for in 2017
10/27/16 Full Force: San Clemente Residents Share Concerns About Crime at Meeting
9/29/16 Eye on Election 2016 City Council Candidates on Sober Living Homes (San Clemente)
9/2/16 Sober-living homes forum attracts 300 in San Clemente
9/2/16 City says 28 Sober Living Properties Have Closed
8/18/16 Group Protests Establishment of Possible Shorecliffs Sober Living Home
5/19/16 Sober Day in Court: San Clemente is Site of Dueling Lawsuits that Could Determine Sober Living Regulations
7/8/15 City orders moratorium on more rehab homes
San Juan Capistrano
2/1/19 Saucon Valley Woman Sentenced to Jail for Teen Boy’s Sexual Assault
Pennsylvania pedophile went to a rehab in San Juan Capistrano.
4/28/17 Report: San Juan Capistrano Ranked High on Deaths Caused by Drugs, Alcohol from 2013 to 2015
SJD had 34 deaths in those three years.
9/28/16 Eye on the Election 2016 City Council Candidates Discuss Issue of Sober Living Facilties (SJC)
7/20/16 San Juan looks to San Clemente's way of regulating group homes
4/8/19 First-of-its-kind addiction treatment registry to launch soon in Orange County
May only cover licensed houses on county land.
3/7/19 In Orange County - as well as elsewhere - cheap, super-powerful heroin is one internet click away
Important article on drug use in Orange County.
6/22/18 District attorney announces S.L.I.P task force
Tony Rackauckas described the county task force for Sober Living Home Investigation and
Prosecution at a Dana Point City Council meeting.
6/18/18 Orange County group homes require far greater regulation and oversight
Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer writes about a $741,094 BoS budget allocation to
investigate and prosecute fraudulent group homes.
5/1/18 Citizens 2018 Candidate Forum for 49th Congressional Race
We’re working for you!
4/24/18 Doing the “sober-living dance” on the Orange County coast
“At many of these group homes, he said, there’s no sober in sober-living.”
4/20/18 Rehab Riviera: Addiction rehab ads will return to Google, but they’ll be vetted
Right. Believe this when you see Google visiting all the rehabs in person.
4/6/18 Deaths, financial chaos bring scrutiny to Rehab Riviera recovery industry
Son a notable politician dies; patient hangs himself; business goes bankrupt;
3/13/18 DA’s new team probes abuses on OC’s Rehab Riviera
Announcement of Rackauckas’ hotline, task force and pending legislation.
3/2/18 Rehab Riviera: Addiction advertising can trick you to death
Online advertising is a game used by rehabs to lure addicts to unscrupulous operators.
1/22/18 Rehab Riviera, Part One
PBS launches reporting on Orange County
10/4/17 DA investigating Orange County drug rehab for “criminal activity,” taxpayer payments to CEO’s retirement account
7/20/17 ‘Urgent…alarming’ – but rehab investigator won’t be in thick of SoCal action any time soon
5/24/17 OC District Attorney charges family, doctors with insurance fraud related to sober living homes, urine tests
District Attorney from OC charges just one set of owners of a string of residences and two MDs are charged with fraud.
5/23/17 Is there a link between neighborhood rehab programs and petty crime in California?
“'We’re starting to understand it is directly related to the increase in the recovery homes in our city,' said Katrina Foley, Mayor of Costa Mesa,” the city with the second highest density of licensed Recovery Residences.
4/28/17 Orange County drug, alcohol deaths soar 82% since 2000
Older people are dying from prescription opioids. Does not investigate whether these are people coming from out-of-county for treatment.
1/27/17 Coastal cities ban together to create bigger political voice
11/15/16 Sober-living Home Operators in California Charged in $176M Fraud Scheme
11/12/16 Empowering cities on sober living
10/14/16 Fight between rehab facilities and cities felt across Orange County
10/4/16 Concerns over sober living homes in North County
9/28/16 Officials to hold town hall on sober living homes
5/13/16 OC Residents Voice Concern Over Increasing Sober Living Homes