YORBA LINDA : Man Abandons Plan for Group Home


The would-be operator of a group home for developmentally disabled adults has decided to withdraw his application after protests from neighbors made him fear for the well-being of the home’s residents.

“I pulled out because, frankly, I was concerned about the quality of life of people residing in the home,” Bob Valenzuela said.

Unrelenting opposition from neighbors of the house on Vista del Sol convinced him that the residents would not be allowed to live a quiet life, Valenzuela said.


“There was nothing in particular that caused me to (withdraw the application), it was just continual opposition, with no real break,” Valenzuela said. The neighbors “have already made their minds up about who would be living in the facility.”

Valenzuela said that for the past three weeks he had received phone calls from neighbors, and while he would not reveal specifically what was said, he characterized the callers as “emotional and full of misinformation.”

Valenzuela applied for a license from the state Department of Social Services in March to operate an adult facility for a maximum of six residents. State law prohibits cities from banning or restricting such facilities, but neighbors of the proposed facility went to a City Council meeting last month and asked the city to prevent the facility from opening.

“We request immediate city action to deny access to the property,” said Jameson Garrett, who lives around the corner from where Valenzuela hoped to operate the facility.

Harry Taylor, community services planner for the agency that places residents in group homes, said it was unusual for an applicant to withdraw from the process because of neighborhood opposition.

“It’s highly uncommon,” Taylor said. “I have never heard of it happening here.”

Valenzuela said he had not decided whether to open the home elsewhere in the city or attempt to open the home in another community.