By Allison Jarrell

After discussing the negative impacts some residents say group homes are having on their neighborhoods and quality of life, the City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to approve a temporary moratorium on permitting or establishing congregate living facilities in residential zones. The newly approved ordinance is intended to allow time for city staff to consider appropriate amendments to the city’s municipal code.

Faculty members, residents and neighbors of Hope by the Sea, a residential drug and alcohol treatment center in San Juan Capistrano, attended Tuesday’s meeting to speak about the benefits of sober living homes. Council members acknowledged and often agreed with the positive aspects they spoke about, but the council majority contended that while there are facilities like Hope by the Sea functioning well in the area, there are certain homes that aren’t complying with regulations.

With a 3-2 vote—Mayor Derek Reeve and Councilman Sam Allevato dissented—the City Council approved the 45-day moratorium and gave direction to the Neighborhood Quality of Life Committee to contact area homes that seem to be functioning out of compliance with city code in order to come up with potential solutions

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