CAROL WILSON, Capistrano Beach
At one point in time, the Dana Point City Council was all in favor to do all they could to find out what was possible; they were leaders in South Orange County. Today’s city council won’t even put it on the agenda to discuss.
Does it make sense that the county itself and other OC cities (Costa Mesa, Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach) are going ahead and enacting laws and ordinances to make their cities safer and yet Dana Point refuses to even talk about it, citing we might be sued?
The Costa Mesa ordinance, recently enacted and tested in court multiple times, has recently been upheld again. Their law affords protection to their residents and also those living in sober living homes.
Here are some of the things it would do—common-sense items that apply to all group homes:
- Maintain a distance of 650 feet between group homes.
- Managers of group homes must reside in homes and be present 24 hours a day.
- Obtain a permit, disclose all owner/operators, prove owner/operator and staff have no convictions for sex offenses, violent felonies, selling controlled substances.
- Provide affidavit that residents are disabled.
- Provide group home rules, regulations, forms and written intake procedures.
Sober living homes must comply with good neighbor policy, requiring that 48 hours prior to eviction or discharge, an operator must notify occupant’s emergency contact, contact OC Health Care Agency to determine if additional services are available, notify the city’s Network for Homeless Solutions.
What this law does: Prevents proliferation of group homes congregating in close proximity, protecting property values, keeps recovering addicts off our streets, prevents additional homeless people living in our city, reduces crime, gives protection to clients of the SLH by keeping them more safe from harm and injury.
Councilman Jamey Federico throwing around the empty threat of a $4 million lawsuit as an excuse to not even discuss this important safety issue for residents is a cop-out. If you are not in favor of it, fine; put it on the city council meeting agenda and go on record voting no. Don’t skirt the issue; we don’t need a “Moscow Mitch” in Dana Point.