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Lake Arrowhead gets rehab facility; residents concerned

March 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Residents in Lake Arrowhead are concerned about a new drug-and-alcohol rehab facility being built in their backyard.

The homes are already under construction. They are part of Serenity, a drug-and-alcohol rehab program.

"We actually moved up the mountain because we didn't want to be around all of this stuff all of the time," said resident Tammy Bayer.

Bayer said she's concerned about what a sober-living program is going to mean for the community.

"In reality, it isn't always sober living. There are calls that come in for who are under the influence, detoxing, drug sales, assaults, all sorts of things are happening," she said.

Not only is the facility being built right next to residential homes, it is also right around the corner from Rim of the World High School.

But this is all legal. According to state law, as long as each home has only six residents in it, the program doesn't have to be licensed by the state.

"They know they can have six bed facilities and fly under the radar. They're promoting that, and they're doing it," said County Supervisor Janice Rutherford. "We, as the local elected officials and governing bodies, have no control over it. It's maddening."

There's no word yet on exactly how many six-person homes are planned up here, nor how soon they'll be opening.

"There's a bill right now ... that says you can't have a food truck within 1,500 feet of a school, but we can have this, even closer to our school, it's just really pathetic," Bayer said.

Eyewitness News has made numerous attempts to contact the project's developer. So far, he has not returned any calls.

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