California Law Attacks Rehab Facilities - Despite a nationwide drug epidemic, California lawmakers have come up with draconian legislation that will result in the loss of thousands of treatment beds. Earlier this year, a small handful of state legislators began what can only be described as an all-out assault on California’s behavioral and mental health care industry.
They introduced four separate bills on February 19th that, each in its own technical way, take immediate aim at different facets of the continuum of substance abuse treatment. Though these bills serve only the self-interest of a few affluent, coastal communities, they are being pushed at a state level, which makes their potential impact widespread.
In the late ‘80s, the Fair Housing Act (FHA) was expanded to protect people from discrimination based on disabilities, including those who have substance use disorders. Then in 1990, these protections were further enforced under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Upon signing the act into law, President H.W. Bush called it a historic opportunity, signaling “the end to the unjustified segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the mainstream of American life.”
25 years ago, whether you were a Democrat or Republican, it was deemed socially unacceptable to deny people a decent standard of living based on one’s history of substance use or other disability. But these four bills—AB 2403, SB 1283, AB 2772, and AB 2255—aim to unravel this progress. For the first time since the ‘80s, there is bipartisan effort to not only restrict the expansion of treatment centers and sober living facilities, but to shut many of them down altogether. They’re attempting to turn back the clocks to a time when it was okay to exclude people based on differences.
(Mod: You can read the rest of this surprising article by clicking here.)
Preserve Sierra Madre: The Threat From Group Homes
(Mod: The following email went out to the PSM mailing list yesterday. It hits some of the big issues facing this community.)
Preserve Sierra Madre's mission has always been to preserve the small-town village-like character of our town. The primary threat to that mission has come from the pernicious consequences of over-development. However, there is a new concern that a simple google search reveals is happening in cities across America - it comes from "group" homes that are moving into residential neighborhoods. Group homes can be occupied by recovering addicts who have had problems with drugs or alcohol.
Please understand that this is not about "whether" there should be group homes, but "where" they should be located. Because they are essentially for-profit businesses with multiple unrelated residents living in the property, we believe that these facilities are not suitable for single family R-1 zoned neighborhoods.
It has recently been in the news that a facility is located in a large home on One Carter near Baldwin. We do not know how many group homes are located in Sierra Madre because there seems to be minimal, if non-existent, notice requirements to the city or surrounding neighbors. Don't think it can't happen to you.
If your immediate neighbor's home goes up for sale or lease, you will face that possibility. The consequence to you is not only concerns about having such a facility as your next door neighbor, but if you were ever to sell your home, you would have to disclose the existence of the facility as a material fact to any potential buyers resulting in your home either becoming unsaleable or, in the unlikely event you are able to sell your home, it will be at a vastly reduced value.
The City Council will be addressing this issue tonight. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.
Preserve Sierra Madre is as compassionate as anyone else, But residential single-family neighborhoods with R-1 zoning are not the appropriate place for sober living facilities as it would not be for any other type of business.