Malibu is an exclusive California community known for its affluent residents and pricey beachfront real estate, but those wealthy residents are growing increasingly upset about the rising number of rehab facilities in their backyard.
City officials claim the establishments are taking over, and they’re now vowing to crack down on zoning code violations and might even take their fight to the state level.
Some rehabs have a disruptive effect on the community, officials say, claiming the local streets are jammed with paparazzi straining to catch a snap of the latest star who’s fallen from grace. There’s the traffic from the staff, and patients occasionally escape.
“They’re watching their residential neighborhood turn into, basically, hospital zones,” Christi Hogin, Malibu city attorney, said, speaking of residents” frustrations. “Drug and alcohol rehab has become big business. And, there’s a lot of money at stake.”
Officials say one facility even assigned a postal address to a guest house in order to bypass the six-beds-per-residence rule.
Some of the famous names who’ve done rehab at Malibu facilities include David Hasselhoff, Britney Spears and Andy Dick. Lindsay Lohan is currently undergoing court-mandated treatment at the famous Cliffside Malibu facility.
Richard Taite, founder and CEO of Cliffside Malibu, said everyone recognizes the need for top-notch drug and alcohol treatment.
“But nobody wants it in their neighborhood,” he added.
He said his facility has a good relationship with Malibu but said “one bad apple” can spoil it for everyone else.