The board called for a one-year moratorium on sober living homes housing seven or more persons last May after Lake Arrowhead residents complained about a proliferation of the facilities in their mountain resort area.
Since then, the county's Land-Use Services Department has been working on revisions to the development code to minimize the impacts of sober living homes on neighborhoods while also ensuring that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts can reside in a neighborhood setting as part of the rehabilitation process.
The new ordinance, which supervisors hope to introduce and have in effect by July, would set certain parameters on the alcohol and drug-free facilities. It will first go before the county Planning Commission for consideration, then the Board of Supervisors.
During last year's public hearing, Lake Arrowhead residents and business owners described harrowing scenarios of recovering drug addicts smoking dope outside their homes and businesses, burglarizing homes, having sex in public restrooms, cussing, spitting and vandalizing their property.
They blamed that small population for increasing crime in their cozy mountain town.
Dr. Carl Melville said he was forced to close his Skyforest practice and relocate because recovering drug addicts and alcoholics were constantly loitering outside his office. He suggested they be sequestered to abandoned Air Force bases like the former George Air Force Base in Victorville and the former Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino.
Those sentiments were echoed during Tuesday's public hearing.
"We look at the residents as short-term residents. They have no investment in the neighborhood, and they rotate in and out every 30, 60 to 90 days," said David Caine, general manager for Marks Management Group, which manages the Lake Arrowhead Crest Estates.
He said residents of sober living facilities are a drain on the resources of the homeowners association, and it is the residents of the association who pay for those resources.
"While we know they have a need and a place to live, I don't think it was ever thought out the impact on the HOAs that are affected by this," said Caine. "Because it is all of the other residents that have to pay the tab for the maintenance, the repair, the road paving, and the cost associated with wear and tear."
Supervisor Janice Rutherford, whose district includes Lake Arrowhead, sympathizes, which is why she pushed for an ordinance with more teeth.
"We want neighborhoods to have high quality of life and we want people to feel safe and secure in their own neighborhoods," Rutherford said.
In other board news, supervisors did not reach a decision on whether the county will appeal a judge's decision that essentially gutted the county's lawsuit against the city of Upland, Caltrans and San Bernardino Associated Governments (SanBag).
The county is trying to get reimbursed for a portion of a $102 million legal settlement the county paid out to Rancho Cucamonga investor group Colonies Partners LP in November 2006.
State and local prosecutors say the settlement, which ended nearly five years of litigation over who was responsible for flood control improvements at Colonies' 434-acre residential and commercial development in Upland, was tainted by bribery and violated state conflict of interest laws.
The board will resume its closed session talks on the litigation at 3 p.m. Friday.
Reach Joe via email, call him at 909-386-3874, or find him on Twitter @SBCountyNow.