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October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]


cityhall1[KHTS] A group of Happy Valley residents upset over a business that recently opened in their residential neighborhood brought concerns Tuesday to Santa Clarita City Council members.

One of the business’s co-owners said he’s done everything he can to respect the neighbors and their concerns, and his sober living facility is operating within the confines of the law.

Santa Clarita officials said they were issuing a notice of violation Tuesday regarding a city ordinance regulating how many tenants are in the home.

However, if the facility obtains the state-licensed status it’s seeking, only the state would have jurisdiction over its operations, as long as it abides by laws that limit the number of occupants, officials said.

“We are concerned whether that facility is operating legally and we are investigating all of our options,” said Jeff Hacker of the Hacker Law Group, who was contacted by residents of the quiet, upscale Newhall neighborhood to address their concerns.

“Right now, we’re operating as a sober living facility,” said Arthur Mogilevski, a co-owner of the Happy Valley sober living facility. “It’s not operating as a treatment facility.”

There’s no treatment component of the “community,” Mogilevski said, adding his business was hoping to obtain licensing to operate a treatment facility.

City Attorney Joe Montes said city ordinances are negated by state law if a treatment facility is state-licensed; however, unlicensed facilities are subject to city ordinances.

Sam Duggan, community preservation officer for city of Santa Clarita, said the facility did not appear to be state-licensed based on a recent inspection.

He also said there appeared to be three occupants renting rooms, which is a violation of a city occupancy rule that dictates only two rooms may be rented out in a single-family home in a residential community.

“What we know so far is that the house is a sober living facility, and that sober facilities are not licensed through the state of California,” Duggan said. “Because of that, they are required to meet our ordinance standards.”

The house has a manager who works 24 hours day to ensure the safety of the house’s residents, Mogilveski said. There are thorough background checks conducted on individuals before they are admitted to the house, and there’s a 10 p.m. curfew for residents, he added.

“For sober living purposes, our goal is to maintain a clean and sober environment where we are continuing to monitor their sobriety,” he said, “and making sure they’re not prone to any form of drugs or alcohol.”

Two residents spoke at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, echoing the concerns of about eight homeowners on the block, according to Cindy Smith, who lives in the neighborhood and was one of the speakers during public comment.

Residents of the neighborhood have met a few times to discuss their issues with the business, which include: the fact that there’s now a business in their residential neighborhood; that residents were not notified a business was moving in; and that property values could be significantly impacted by this new neighbor.

“We felt that we should have been notified — bottom line,” said Happy Valley resident Chris David, who also lives near the sober living facility, which is advertised as an “Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Addiction Treatment Center For Men,” on its website.

Mogilevski said he was trying to work with the neighbors as much as possible, and that the facility’s residents are either working or going to school, as well as following strict rules set forth by the house’s manager.

He has not yet received any violation from the city, he said, but he would address any Santa Clarita ordinances or violations brought to his attention.

City officials said after a notice of violation is issued, the owner or property manager would then have 30 days to comply.

“We want to make sure we don’t upset anybody and make sure they are safe,” Mogilevski said, referring to the residents in his home and their neighbors.

The home was hosting a barbecue Saturday to welcome neighbors and address any concerns or questions they might have, he said. “We’re not trying to hide anything.”

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51 Comments

  1. Lynn Hedman Lynn Hedman says:

    these homes have very strict rules and the residents are there for a reason,to stay sober and clean. Please don’t be too judgmental and closed minded .

  2. ???? I must have missed something??

  3. The same folk who whine and lecture about the scourge of drugs in our lily white city. Apparently, the message is “get off drugs – just not here.” Classy.

  4. There’s a happy valley?!

    I would much rather live next to recovering addicts who are doing everything they can to stay sober than acting out addicts who are secretively in denial. There is a big problem with all kinds of addictions in scv, and having centers where they can get help in town is great. Let’s address the problem with addiction by offering hope to those caught in it rather than sending them the message that they aren’t good enough for certain neighborhoods.

  5. @raelyn Elizabeth it’s not that they aren’t good enough or the fact that they are addicts it’s the fact that it’s a business on a small culdesac that children are always playing in. It’s not safe and no one wants a business where they live. If they need help they can get it in a business setting like off Lyons ave. not where people reside

    • As a business owner who works out of the home, I really don’t understand why it would be a big deal for 2 recovering addicts to live in the house. It’s not creating more traffic, it’s not a store front, it’s two more residents at a time. I have never had a neighbor complain about me running a business out of my home, so I just don’t understand how the fact that it is a sobriety home isn’t the part that matters. Maybe I’m just missing something. It all seems pretty silly.

  6. Same to @lynn hedman. It’s not about the people and being close minded. It’s the fact that they are disrupting residences with a business

  7. I lived in happy valley for years and still walk back their on a daily basis. So if it was a single person renting out 2 rooms to make ends meet and keep their house would it be ok? Or is it the fact that their recovering addicts trying to get on their feet that you have a problem with? Which one are you gonna judge? Cause I’m sure I didn’t see a halo over anyone’s heads…

  8. Sean King Sean King says:

    That’s lame. Be angry if it was a porn house or a meth lab. As long as they are respecting the neighbors. In second thought people should keep their nose out of it. It’s completely ridiculous.

  9. As a former rehab nurse(and still a hospice nurse). Their truly are people that want help… I’m sure not all recovering addicts are out to harm people, let alone children….this valley lacks places for people to get help. I’m not sure where this facility is going to be….but to judge people baseffd on their recovery is unfair! If for some reason someone be

  10. (Sorry got cut off) *becomes unruly their are protocols in place as well but please don’t jussge!!!

  11. *judge ( can u see I’m getting tired LOL) and where would this facility be located??

  12. Jessica Boykin – You claim it’s the fact that it is a business, but what if it was an in home daycare? I bet no one would be all up in arms over that type of business. There are businesses in neighborhoods more than you obviously realize. Let’s be honest, it is not the fact that it is ‘A’ business, it is the type of business.

  13. John Steiner John Steiner says:

    Imho.. it is a case of not good enough and that they are addicts. The fact about it being a business is only an excuse and loop hole to remove them from the neighborhood. I’ll bet there’s people in the neighborhood making money one way or another in their homes why don’t they just start a neighborhood militia and stop everyone from making a dime if that’s the true case.. people need help but not in my community, that’s how we fix it.. close your eyes it’ll go away right?.. oh hell send them to the valley, send them to AV I’m afraid …

  14. Carrie Gil Slakoff Danielle Slakoff Gloria Slakoff Hernandez

  15. Kevin Fisher Kevin Fisher says:

    Jessica Boykin people reside on Lyons ave.

  16. There are many people where their home is their place of business but you don’t know it. How is it different then someone renting rooms out in their house at least these folks have undergone background checks. I would rather live next to someone trying to clean up their act than these complaining hypocrites. I have lived in scv for 34 years and am ashamed of what this community has become. We use to help our neighbors and now its about everyone out for themselves.

  17. I have lived in the
    Santa Clarita Valley for about 15 years and as a Latin woman
    (Born & Raised in the US)
    I find there are A LOT of unfriendly and racist people here, sorry but its true!
    I even heard a neighbor tell me that he moved here from New York, because of a new job, but that he had more of a sense of community there, than here in Santa Clarita. He said, ” Neighbors actually say hello and help you out, a real community… I really miss my neighbors.”
    My truth is that I have lived in my community 9 years and to this day, I don’t know all of my neighbors.

    • Bill says:

      For lack of intelligent argument, throw out the race card.

      How you get along with people is up to you. Maybe the problem is within you and not them

  18. Just curious, how many people defending this sober living home are actual homeowners in any neighborhood?

  19. John Steiner John Steiner says:

    I own two homes here in santa clarita. .. since you asked.. and it wouldn’t bother me one bit to have a recovery house in my hood.. better than having drug user’s close by using around the kids in the neighborhood. .hiding it..

  20. Seen this house and neighborhood. I would be pissed off, too, after how much money we have to pay to live here, it lowers resale value.

  21. Jason Porter Jason Porter says:

    Depends if this is voluntary or court ordered. Court ordered are gonna bring thieves. I work with these type of people daily. Most never get better. Now voluntary help is different. I would be ok with that

  22. Kim Canaan Kim Canaan says:

    People just have to have something to complain about.

  23. Discrimination at its best here in SCV awesome town make me puke! Isn’t this a form if profiling? Oh well let’s give this to our elected officials to debate. Create a referendum, table it for a future meeting, hire an attorney spend 200k and oh yes allow it to exist.

  24. Get facts before you all make comments. Try living with one next door to your house

  25. Bill says:

    You need to educate yourself, Jason as to the allowable uses under our current zoning laws before you just start lashing out with your emotional opinions.

    There is a reason we have different zoning designations and each has it’s own specific uses

  26. I mean absolutely no disrespect to Mr. Smith, the author of this article, but he failed to mention why people on this street are concerned. A few months ago a resident of this street went outside to pick up the morning paper and found a man sleeping on his porch. When he was asked kindly to leave, the sleeping man became violent and a physical altercation ensued. The home where this happened had two small children inside. Up until this time, no one on this cul de sac knew about the sober living home. Since then, however, there have been a high number of people loitering at the end of the cul-de-sac (which is the furthest point from the sober living home). There have been people driving up and meeting residents of this home in their cars for a few seconds, and then the cars speed off. And there have been inebriated people walking around disturbing the peace. The people on this street are not “intolerant,” are not “racist,” and the like. They just want to feel safe in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, this business owner does not seem to be doing a very good job of setting ground rules for the people living there, because there have been multiple incidents on the street since the business opened.

  27. Tessa Lucero says:

    People who are trying to develop healthy living habits and kick drugs, alcohol, or gambling need support, not sniping. And a shared residence with supervision and assistance is likely to be a better environment in which to try to achieve sobriety than the familiar home with the memories of drinking and getting high.

    For those who are complaining and asking if we have such establishments in our neighbourhoods, yes, I do. There’s a board and care home that abuts my side yard. The residents haven’t been any trouble and I haven’t noticed our property values going down as a result. The legitimate concern might be increased traffic if everyone there owns a car and parks it on the street — and for those complaining, how many cars in your household? A family with three teenagers is likely to generate more traffic than a sober living house.

  28. Did you just say Happy Valley residents are upset?

  29. Let’s worry about our neighbors that are using drugs n selling drugs to our kids at schools .. Not the people that are trying to get act straight this is what’s wrong with our society

  30. Not sure how I would feel. ..I use to live on happy valley for many years. . The area is really nice and very expensive. .. The bigger issue is the valley has a big drug problem and no one wants to face it.. it is better to hide

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