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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newport Beach Residents Battle Drug Rehab

Newport Beach is a beautiful community sandwiched between LA and San Diego in Orange County. Over the last twenty years there have been a number of drug treatment facilities that have opened in that area. Now, there are a number of treatment programs that house their clients in houses along the coast of Newport Beach. It seems like there couldn't be a better place to find recovery than the serene environment that exists along the coastline. But, the residents of those neighborhoods are not happy about having a drug treatment house in their neighborhood, claiming that it affects their quality of life.

In the last decade there has been more and more contention between the residents of Newport Beach and the cluster of drug treatment facilities that operate in the area. "Homeowners in West Newport have said that their quality of life suffers from the area having too many of the homes, and the city has spent more than $1.5 million fighting lawsuits from rehab home operators who have contested city ordinances. The most contentious ordinance was one from 2008 that forced operators to undergo an extensive public review and permitting process".

Recently, a lawyer for the Lido Isle Community Assn. sent a letter to the City of Newport Beach that opposed a proposed agreement with Morningside Recovery. Morningside is close to settling its lawsuit with the city; the last step is to have the City Council, among other restrictions, approve an agreement that would limit the number of beds the facility can operate and where they can be.

"The idea of clustering the homes down in the beach area is counterproductive to the idea of assimilating people into society," said Neil MacFarlane, a Lido Isle resident and member of Concerned Citizens of Newport Beach, an activist group formed to address the rehab issue.

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