The San Juan Capistrano City Council discussed on Tuesday some of the negative impacts residents say group homes are having on their neighborhoods as well as current and potential actions regarding the regulation of such homes.
Councilwoman Kerry Ferguson agendized the discussion after meeting with a group of about 20 residents and hearing about the adverse impacts some group homes have been causing, including parking issues and increased traffic, noise and loitering. Ferguson noted that those impacts are diminishing the quality of life for residents while also decreasing property values.
Councilman Sam Allevato concurred with Ferguson, noting that cities like San Clemente and Dana Point have also been experiencing problems with group homes. Allevato said Assemblyman Bill Brough, whose office is based in San Juan Capistrano, has appointed him as the San Juan representative on a tri-city committee, alongside Dana Point Mayor Carlos Olvera and San Clemente City Councilwoman Kathy Ward, to discuss legislative solutions at the state level. Allevato said they will be holding town hall meetings in the tri-city area in the future.
With a unanimous motion, the council directed city staff to work with the city attorney to bring back various options for regulating group homes on Oct. 20. Those options will include looking into a moratorium on new group homes.
In August, the city of San Clemente extended a 45-day moratorium to 10 months in order to provide more time for staff to examine issues surrounding sober living homes. Since then, the city has filed lawsuits against several facilities, alleging that the companies have violated the city’s municipal codes.