Friday, September 20, 2013

Pacific Shores Properties v. City of Newport Beach (9th Cir. - Sept. 20, 2013)

Are you surprised that the City of Newport Beach didn't like "group homes" populated by individuals with substance abuse problems?  So passed an ordinance that basically made it difficult or impossible for these places to open (or persist) in Newport Beach?

The City Attorney realized that there was potentially a housing discrimination problem.  You can't target peole with substance abuse issues, so the theory behind the ordinance was that "groups" of individuals hanging out in a single home created "problems".  The City Attorney accordingly said that to avoid a lawsuit, Newport Beach should similarly regulate vacation homes.  Since those were similarly rented to groups of individuals.

Are you surprised that the residents of Newport Beach went ballistic about that proposal?  And said that they were happy to drive out groups of low-income druggies, but leave the rich people alone?

Not at all.

Finally, are you surprised that Judge Reinhardt writes an opinion that says that this is illegal?

Not.  Not surprised at all.

P.S. - I love the new, large fonts on the Ninth Circuit's opinion page.  Good for old people with failing eyesight.  Like me.