David Allyn Dokich - Serial Child Rapist / High Risk Sex Offender

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Article - Focus is on group homes

SOBER LIVING: Murrieta officials are under pressure to ease community concerns about such facilities.

By JESSICA ZISKO and TAMMY McCOY / The Press-Enterprise

It happened in Temecula. It happened in Hemet. Now, it's happening in Murrieta.

A group of residents is asking the city to step up control over a sober-living home because of concerns about its recovering alcoholics and drug users.

The issue plays out in California cities every year. City officials say state and federal law prohibits them from slapping sober-living facilities with rules that are different from other homes. Concerned residents say cities have legal options that they're ignoring.

Home operators want everyone to let them be.

'Their Neighbors'

Residents approached Murrieta city leaders with their fears earlier this month. They said the home near Jackson Avenue and Nutmeg Street could be attracting felons.

They cited examples from Pasadena, Pomona and Los Angeles, where officials found sex offenders in one facility.

The home, they said, is too close to a Jackson Avenue elementary school and park.

"I understand everyone has rights, but that doesn't erase the concerns of an average citizen trying to raise their kids in a safe neighborhood," said Richard Ackerman, the residents' attorney.

California law treats sober-living homes of six or fewer residents like single-family homes. They do not need a license as long as they do not provide counseling and detoxification services.

As a result, cities rarely know when sober-living homes start to operate. In Murrieta, Josie's Casita opened Jan. 1, said Gilbert Carrillo, who owns the five-bedroom house and runs it with his wife, Josephine.

Originally, the Carrillos lived in Orange County and hired a manager who allowed more than six residents. State law requires them to have a license in that case.

Complete article

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