Costa Mesa officials confirmed this week that four new sober living operations moved into residential neighborhood locations that rehab home operator Solid Landings had just moved out of under an agreement with the city.
But the reign of three of those new facilities was brief, and the fourth is on shaky ground, according to the city.
Solid Landings agreed to close 15 of 33 facilities within 30 days of the settlement agreement reached with the city a couple months ago and the rest within two years.
The four new sober-living operations moved into homes that Solid Landings had leased.
Costa Mesa’s Code Enforcement unit monitored the new sober-living homes and cited operators for running facilities without city approvals and requiring them to cease operations within 30 days, according to municipal officials.
Three of the four facilities paid fines and agreed to cease their operations, according to the city.
The fourth home contested the fine, but a third party hearing officer upheld the penalty during a recent citation appeal hearing, city officials say.
Costa Mesa Code Enforcement staff will continue monitoring the locations and, if necessary, impose more fines and/or file possible civil action for alleged non-compliance, the city says.
Residents who joined forces to force city action against operations they claim have been riddled with nuisances in their neighborhoods have characterized the move-in/move-out phenomenon among sober-living operators as just another move in a shell game that has allowed such facilities to flourish in Costa Mesa.
One group, Take Back Our Neighborhoods, claims there are hundreds and hundreds of these homes in city neighborhoods.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.