Costa Mesa: A Case Study

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Transcript Costa Mesa: A Case Study

Costa Mesa: A Case Study
Regulating Sober Living Homes In Residential Zones
Presented by
Tarquin Preziosi
City Attorney’s Office
City of Costa Mesa
Current Statistics

Approximately 172 sober living facilities
located in the residential zones
◦ DHCS licensed alcoholism/drug abuse
recovery/treatment facilities
◦ Non-state licensed sober living homes

28.9% of state licensed drug and alcohol
treatment facilities in Orange County
located in Costa Mesa
◦ An estimated 1,586 alcohol and drug recovery
beds
Costa Mesa Ordinances: R1 Zone
(single family)

Group Home includes
◦ DHCS licensed alcoholism/drug abuse
recovery/treatment facilities
◦ DSS licensed group homes
◦ Non-licensed group homes, including “sober living
homes”



All group homes limited to 6 occupants
Special Use Permit required for non-state
licensed group homes
Non-state licensed SLH must be separated
by 650’
Costa Mesa Ordinances: MFR
Zones (multi-family)
Special Use Permit required for non-state
licensed group homes of six or fewer
 Conditional Use Permit required for all
Group Homes of 7 or more, including

◦ DHCS licensed alcoholism/drug abuse
recovery/treatment facilities
◦ 650’ separation requirement

Separate operator’s permit required for
non-state licensed group homes
Resulting Lawsuits

Solid Landings v. Costa Mesa (federal case)
◦ Largest operator in City, approximately 33 group
homes
◦ Challenged the R1 ordinance in federal court
primarily under FHA & ADA
◦ District court ruled in City’s favor
◦ Solid Landings appealed to 9th Circuit
◦ December 2015: 9th Circuit enjoins enforcement
of the R1 ordinance
◦ Briefing not yet completed
Resulting Lawsuits, cont’d.

Yellowstone v. Costa Mesa
◦ Requested a “reasonable accommodation” to be
exempted from R1 ordinance's requirement of 6
or fewer occupants
◦ Request denied by Planning Commission
◦ Challenged the R1 ordinance in federal court
primarily under FHA & ADA
◦ City prevailed twice, plaintiffs filed third amended
complaint
◦ Case currently stayed pending 9th Circuit decision
in Solid Landings
Resulting Lawsuits, cont’d.

Solid Landings v. Costa Mesa (state case)
◦ Had been operating a group counseling center
in a commercial zone without a CUP
◦ Ultimately, applied for CUP, but denied by City
Council
◦ Files writ action to overturn denial
◦ City cross-complains; brings nuisance
abatement action to enjoin this use
Settlement: Solid Landings
Close 15 homes within 30 days
 Close 18 remaining homes over the next
2-3 years
 2 group counseling centers (nonresidential) to remain
 Mutual dismissal of lawsuits
 No payment of costs or attorneys fees

Solid Landings Settlement Results
An approximate 19% reduction in the
number of group homes in Costa Mesa
based on current statistics
 Resolves one challenge to the City’s
ordinance
 Yellowstone lawsuit still pending
