“I believe that this council and everybody here has done everything we can under the law to put an ordinance on the books that can help,” Councilman Greg Nordbak said. “We are better off with this ordinance than 12 months ago.” The new law, which still must be approved a second time by the council, bans boarding homes, residential-care facilities and shelters in single-family residential areas and requires a conditional-use permit for them in other areas of the city. Permits for shelters and residential-care facilities would require a management plan detailing how the residents would be supervised, staffing levels, security and overall house rules. Boarding houses could have no more than five people in them or two people per room. Gloria Avila, one of the residents who has been concerned about Perez’s intentions, said Wednesday she believes the law will help. “We’ve got an ordinance in the city of Whittier that recognizes these things are going to happen,” Avila said. “\ something to refer back to now. There are more regulations on these kind of homes.” However, there is a potential loophole in the law, city officials said. Federal and state laws don’t allow the city to regulate families, said Krista Jee, assistant city attorney. Jee said some sober-living homes in other cities have called themselves “families” as a way to get around local regulations. It’s difficult to make a distinction between a family or a boarding house, Jee said. “Cities are not allowed to make a distinction of a family based upon the relationship of the individuals,” Jee said. “It can’t be a requirement that they are biologically related.” The ordinance defines a family as two or more people living together that is a “relatively permanent bona-fide housekeeping unit.” It must have a “relationship based upon birth, marriage or other domestic bond of social, economic and psychological commitments to each other.” Perez, who sparked the controversy by proposing to put a sober-living home at his house, said he doesn’t believe the ordinance will affect his plans. In a sober-living establishment, no treatment is provided, but individuals in recovery are expected to maintain an alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle by establishing a living environment that supports sobriety and recovery. As long as there are no more than six people and treatment isn’t provided, the state doesn’t regulate it. “This is going to be a family home with people with many disabilities,” he said. “There will be no criminal element. “I’m only interested in helping people who were beginning to have a problem,” Perez said. “It’s going to be a nurturing family home. It’s not a threat to anybody.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – The City Council has approved an ordinance adding regulations to boarding houses, residential-care facilities and shelters as a way of responding to concerns about a proposed sober-living home in the Palm Park area. A sober-living home was proposed about a year ago for a house in the 10000 block area of Orange Drive. However, this proposal by Jerry Perez, owner of the home, led residents to picket and make an appeal to the city. The ordinance approved unanimously Tuesday is the city’s answer.