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Council passes Sober Living and Group Home Ordinance to ensure such facilities operate within the confines of the law

council meeting update

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed a Sober Living and Group Home Ordinance that will require sober living and recovery homes to register with the City as a part of ongoing efforts to ensure compliance. 

The ordinance is a result of town hall meetings on May 12 and August 3 and a roundtable meeting co-chaired by Senator Patricia Bates and Mayor Wendy Bucknum – with stakeholder input from other regional leaders and neighboring cities studying long-term policy solutions which could mitigate impacts of sober living and recovery homes noted in recent testimony from residents at the town halls. 

“As many of you know, I and my colleagues have been very concerned about the proliferation of unlicensed sober living and group homes in Mission Viejo,” said Mayor Wendy Bucknum. “This evening, we are introducing this ordinance as an immediate solution to ensure we identify sober living homes operating in Mission Viejo and mandate proper registration with the City. This ordinance will further enable our City to ensure these homes are operating in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”  

During the meeting, Council members also received an update about the status of the City’s Housing Element and the challenges that Mission Viejo and all cities have faced in moving forward. In addition, the report included details of capital improvement projects in the City including the rehabilitations of the Coronado Park and Madrid Fore Park play areas, Oso Creek lookout seating areas, Montanoso Recreation Center rehabilitation, and the Core Area Vision Plan.  

In other news from Tuesday, the library, which has constantly been improving accessibility for patrons, received a $5,000 donation from AvalonBay Communities to install software on its public computers so blind and low-vision users of all ages can enjoy the materials.  

The City Council meets at 6 pm for regular business on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month in the Council Chamber at 200 Civic Center. Council meetings are streamed live on the City's website and air on Cox Channel 30 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. Residents are encouraged to sign up for the City's eNewsletter and follow the City's official social media sites for the most accurate, up-to-date information.       


Submitted by Ralph Bobsin on Sun, 08/28/2022 - 5:28 pm


Do homeowners get notified when one of these facilities is under consideration? Homeowners should be notified immediately as soon as a license is applied for as it definitely effects the value of one's property. Seems as if more of our personal property liberties are attacked each year. One makes a decision to invest in their property for many reasons. Generally safety and property appreciation are number 1 and 2 on the list. It's why I chose to live in a neighborhood with an HOA and agreed upon community rules. What right does the State have to strip these protections away from us? Will they pay the depreciation?

Submitted by Cathy Palmer on Mon, 09/05/2022 - 3:06 pm


If it was this easy, why didn't the City pass an ordinance like this when residents first started complaining?

Submitted by Cathy Schlicht on Tue, 09/06/2022 - 12:02 pm



October 12, 2016

Council Member Raths
Council Member Sachs (arrived at 6:57 p.m.)
Council Member Schlicht
Mayor Pro Tem Bucknum

Mayor Ury

Council Member Schlicht

17. Support Congressman Darrell Issa’s draft federal legislation to help Sober Living Homes function better for the community, those in recovery, and all parties involved

Council Member Schlicht read her agenda report.

Motion made by Council Member Schlicht to direct staff to prepare a Letter in support of Congressman Darrell Issa's legislation to amend the Fair Housing Act to help states and cities regulate Sober Living Homes. The motion died for lack of a second.

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