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Community Townhall on sober living homes set for May 12

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The City of Mission Viejo is sponsoring a Community Townhall meeting on Thursday, May 12 regarding sober living homes. 

Hosted by Mayor Wendy Bucknum, the townhall will include representatives from the offices of Senator Patricia Bates, Assemblywoman Laurie Davies and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department discussing current and proposed regulations at the County, State and federal level for these types of homes. 

Residents are encouraged to attend. The meeting begins at 6 pm in City Hall’s City Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center. To send questions for the panel, email soberlivingquestions@cityofmissionviejo.org by 5 pm on May 12 or you can submit written questions at the event. For more information, contact the Community Development Department at 949-470-3053. 


Submitted by Deedee on Fri, 04/08/2022 - 10:29 am


Will the meeting be livestreamed or recorded for those who cannot attend but are interested in hearing the proceedings?

Submitted by Concerned MV R… on Sun, 04/10/2022 - 3:38 pm


This is a town hall, folks, and everyone must come. The number of people that attend show the City that we do not like what is happening here and that we insist that they fight for us. In the past MV held meetings on this issue not to advocate for us, but to let us know that they couldn't and wouldn't fight against the State-supported sober home influx into our sweet community. Please tell your all MV friends and neighbors to come May 12th. Even if you are not directly affected by this issues, next month without warning one of these could move into the house next door. Because there is no regulation or accountability. This means 5-10 heavily tatoo-ed, chain-smoking, constantly cursing people move into a single house while they detox. Nurses, shrinks, day staff, guests, van transport, ambulances are in and out day and night. Parking problems constantly. Do you want your kids playing outside now? Spread the word and come the the town hall. If you don't show up, the City will think we don't mind our new neighbors.

Submitted by City Staff on Mon, 04/11/2022 - 3:49 pm


Thank you for your comment on the City's News page. Yes, the Townhall will be filmed and available to view on the City’s website, Cox Channel 30 and AT&T Channel 99.

Submitted by Mark Calkins on Fri, 04/29/2022 - 7:59 am


Sober living homes are coming to our neighborhoods unless we speak out.
My elderly aunt lived in Oceanside for thirty years and then they put a Sober living home next to her home. Parking, police presence, theft, and people walking into her property late at night. She lived in a very nice neighborhood until then. Do to safety concerns she had to sell her life long home and move to a gated safer community in Carlsbad. Don’t turn our city into a dangerous place. The city needs to fight Sacramento on this ridiculous plan.

Submitted by Caitlyn Robison on Thu, 05/05/2022 - 1:18 am


Reading all these comments is making me lose brain cells.

And that’s an understatement. Not only are these two comments coming from people who are severely undereducated about the real world, and the experiences of people who haven’t been spoiled and sheltered their whole lives. These are some of the most tone deaf, apathetic, jaded, just overall heartless and disrespectful people commenting on this. I hope none of you and none that you love have to experience going through a sober living, or what gets you there in the first place. These people, that you are stereotyping, and possibly pushing onto the streets because of your own internalized bias (and most likely with racist undertones). These people (those in sober living) have fought tooth and nail to stay alive, meanwhile I bet you’ve been handed everything you’ve ever wanted in your life, so you’re afraid of people who have had to work for what they earned and deserve. Addicts are some of the most loving, empathetic, understanding, and amazing people out there… But you’ve managed to reduce them down to this horrible stereotype… And to make matters worse— you genuinely believe that tattoos have anything to do with a persons value to society. Last time I checked it’s 2022, not 1922?
$20 you are also both Christians, or someone who believes in God. You’re the type to act like it on Sunday, but act like the devil, during the other 6 days.
Didn’t a very FAMOUS Christian man one say “Love thy neighbor” and “Only the Lord can judge”, and to “love the whores, lepers, and sinners”?? Or does that not apply to “your Christianity” ??
I don’t expect much else from Orange County, but the least you could do is not be afraid of the people who will treat your kids with more respect than the rest of the people on your street. They will make sure they stay safe, loved, protected, and much more, if you let them. They won’t shove drugs down their throat like you would assume they would, but I’d be more cautious about the CEO who seems a little too friendly with your teenage daughter more than those in recovery on your street.

Because you’ve closed your mind and your doors on people like this, they spend time out on the streets, and sober living‘s give them a place to continue to maintain their sobriety and become better functioning members of society. But you wouldn’t know that. I assume you’re the type of person to call the cops on a homeless person for just existing, which is not only disgusting & heartless behavior, it’s counterintuitive. If you don’t want sober livings, I hope you’re okay with more crime and drug activity since these people will now be homeless, but in your neighborhood!!!
I suggest you go out and ask the next homeless person what they would do to have the opportunity to live at a sober living and I guarantee that the majority would leap at that opportunity, it’s crucial to a large population around Orange County, the least you could do is be understanding of them having sober livings in your neighborhood, and not be so disrespectful, close-minded, biased, rude, disrespectful, and heartless. Why don’t you stop worrying about someone looking at your perfect picket fence house for “too long” and start caring about your community? I beg you to just at least do some research and educate yourself, it’s the very least you could do, considering how uneducated you both sound. Have a great week, hope to see you at town hall!

Submitted by Joy McKirahan on Thu, 05/05/2022 - 11:56 pm


I agree with the other comments. In addition, but my concern is one, that these are businesses not stable single family property owners. They have no commitment to our communities. Two, these “facilities” and continuously changing residents impact property value and ability to sell your home. Third, my concern is the peace and normalcy of our neighborhoods that would vanish wherever a property is designated as a sober living facility. I would not be comfortable with turnstile residents next to myself nor my grandchildren.

Submitted by another concer… on Wed, 05/11/2022 - 12:16 pm


I’m concerned as well
In my opinion sober living homes are profit centers typically run by an LLC and have no interest in maintaining the standards of the neighborhood. They are called “for profit” businesses for a reason. They exist under the cover of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. I believe there is currently quite a discrepancy as to whether an addict or alcoholic automatically falls under the protected category of the ADA. Most believe the addict still must prove they are disabled and are not automatically a protected class.
The City of Costa Mesa has taken a stance on sober living homes being properly sited in their city and have chosen to stand up and fight for their residents with much success. As recently as April 18, 2022 a jury in the Federal District Court delivered a unanimous verdict in support of the City’s laws and efforts. Their first victory was in December of 2018 when the jury unanimously rejected claims that the Costa Mesa ordinances are discriminatory and violate the Fair Housing Act. The city has also been successful in recouping legal fees.
As the City of Costa Mesa continues to prevail, case records are in place for other cities to stand up and fight for their residents if they so choose to.
My question is “can we have the mayor of Mission Viejo and all city council members publicly state their position on whether they intend to legally fight for the residents of Mission Viejo or are these town hall meetings just a matter of going through the motions? ”
I am not asking you to agree with my opinion, I am merely asking that as an elected official you go on record stating your position so the residents of Mission Viejo can vote accordingly.
The position stated by our elected officials of Mission Viejo will allow its residents to either sell their home and join the exodus out of California or to switch gears and buy a couple more homes in Mission Viejo and join the bandwagon and become a for profit LLC ourselves.
Maybe it’s time to budget for a legal defense as opposed to budgeting for a float in a parade?
Just another concerned resident

Submitted by Concerned resi… on Tue, 05/17/2022 - 11:29 am


First off, I want to differentiate between a Sober Living House (unlicensed) vs. a Drug & Alcohol Detox House (licensed). They are very different. We are dealing with a Drug & Alcohol Detox House licensed by the State of California for 6 beds. It requires a doctor to oversee it. Basically a makeshift hospital in a residential neighborhood to medically detox individuals from alcohol or drugs. There was to be a mandatory inspection on this house prior to opening that didn’t happen due to COVID-19. This house operated for almost 18 months with zero oversight, not even a video inspection. Supposedly because of COVID-19 but no one even wears a mask over there but said inspection can’t be done? As we watch ambulances now on 3 occasions, and now 3 police cars on another occasion come to someone’s rescue at this house. Why is there no local jurisdiction monitoring the safety of treatment going on at this house? It is humanly impossible for Sacramento to properly oversee the number of facilities that licenses have been granted to in Orange County. It’s apparent because it takes over a year to get an answer for formal complaints or when doing A FOIA request.

Secondly, when someone applies for a license for one of these Drug & Alcohol Detox Homes, no criminal background check is ever done on the applicants. It’s left up to the applicant to reveal any past indiscretions in their application paperwork. Why isn’t that more thoroughly looked into prior to granting a new license? It’s like the fox is guarding the henhouse and they know it. We have invited organized crime and now have the title Fraud Capitol for all Drug and Alcohol treatment programs for the whole country in Orange County. It’s because it’s not proper oversight that is local. I want to know why?

Submitted by Janelle on Sun, 06/05/2022 - 11:59 am


I have to laugh at all you guys that fear drug addicts and alcoholics.
I ran a sober living in mission viejo, an all girls sober living. Not one of them, including myself wanted to steal or harm, or do anything destructive to anyones belongings or house. You guys dont have a clue.
Being sober almost 4 years now, and knowing how many sober livings are in mission Viejo, you guys are pathetic. You guys are seriously blind and should be afraid of your actual neighborhood kids or teens.

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