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Sunny Acres News

Back to the Business of Helping the Homeless

Back to Court; Back to the Creek?
Providing a Homeless Solution the Sunny Acres Way
The Trial of the Century!!
What Homeless Problem?  The County’s Legal and Enforcement War on Sunny Acres
More Detailed Reviews of Sunny Acres’ Issues, and a Tribune Article by County Supervisor Bruce Gibson
Fined for Selling Christmas Trees?  Trials and Tribulations with San Luis Obispo County  (December 2007 – March 2008)
Building and Expansion Efforts - December 2006 - October 2007 (includes Sunny Acres’ protest of costs and discrimination by San Luis Obispo County)
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo project - September 2005 - June 2006
Initial Founding and Growth - 2001 - February 2005

Back to the Business of Helping the Homeless

The foundation is poured  for the 14-room recovery building. KSBY has the story. February 22, 2015

There will be a new, 800 square foot, 14-room recovery building on the Honor Farm on Los Osos Valley Road. KSBY provides a very moving report.  September 19, 2014

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 19, 2014 at 10340 Los Osos Valley Road. The project, approved by the county planning department.... San Luis Tribune, September 16, 2014

The Tribune reports on a "feelin' good" Dan DeVaul, who's in the planning stages now for the future 8000 sq. ft. homeless facility  May 3, 2013

The Tribune opines on the "huge progress" made at Sunny Acres.  April 26, 2013

The New Times reports that the settlement with the County will allow DeVaul to rebuild Sunny Acres.  April 24, 2013

DeVaul Settlement with the County is covered by Cal Coast news,  April 24, 2013

KSBY reports that the years long battle between the County and Dan DeVaul appears to be over.  April 23, 2013

Back to Court; Back to the Creek?

Murdered Los Osos mother’s unanswered plea for help.  May 25, 2012

KSBY covers the Sunny Acres Clean Up Day.  April 21, 2012

PolyHouse is Awarded the Contract! The Tribune, KSBY, and the New Times all check in.  April 20, 2012

Colin Rigby of the New Times describes what is at stake on April 20.  April 19, 2012

The Tribune notes that PolyHouse is in the running to help De Vaul.  April 18, 2012

Cal Coast News reports that "
After years of battling over code requirements, Dan De Vaul, community members, public officials, and a group of students are working together to makeover Sunny Acres"  April 12. 2012

The Tribune checks in on the Polyhouse Story the next day.  April 11, 2012

KSBY reports that Cal Poly Students bring New Hope and New Life to Sunny Acres.  April 10, 2012

The Tribune reports that the Receiver has a Jobs Bid List.  March 14, 2012

Bob Cuddy of the Tribune reports on the Receivership  March 9, 2012

Cal Coast News discusses Sunny Acres Under Receivership.  March 8, 2012

KSBY reports that "The Receiver Has Arrived"  March 7,2012

The New Times SLO details:  "Receiver Appointed to Sunny Acres"  January 26, 2012

KVEC reports:  "
On Friday, a judge ordered a receiver take control of Dean DeVaul’s property on LOVR."  KSBY also covers the story.  So does the Tribune  January 23, 2012

New Times SLO reports:  "Sunny Acres owner Dan De Vaul was denied a request to avoid permit fees for repair work on structures at his ranch and sober living facility west of San Luis Obispo."  KVEC also covers the story.  January 18, 2012

The New Times SLO notes "No Receiver for De Vaul, yet"  November 9, 2011

KVEC reports: Sunny Acres in Danger of Foreclosure if Appointed a Receiver.  November 8, 2011

The Tribune:  Whether Dan De Vaul's property will be overseen by receiver is now up to judgeKSBY and Cal Coast News also cover.  November 7, 2011

The Tribune: De Vaul tells court he is complying with codes on his San Luis Obispo ranch  KSBY also covers the story.  October 28, 2011

The New Times SLO reports that "The Noose Tightens for Sunny Acres".  October 26, 2011

KVEC reports: "SLO County's Battle Against DeVaul Heating Up"  October 21, 2011

The Tribune reports: "Rancher Dan De Vaul appears in court for hearing on oversight of property".
KSBY also covers.   October 21, 2011

The Tribune notes: "After a brief hearing, supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to waive fees that amounted to $20,775. De Vaul plans to build an 8,000-square-foot home to be used as a nonprofit sober living residence serving very low-income residents with substance abuse problems."  The Cal Coast News also covers the story.  October 20, 2011

The Tribune finally runs a story on what has been happening in the County regarding Sunny Acres.  Over 100 comments are made.  September 16, 2011

Judge Crandall says he'll be the one to decide if Dan De Vaul has been complying with County orders.  September 15, 2011

KSBY notes how where the homeless cook dinner at Sunny Acres is now a point of contention in San Luis Obispo.  September 13, 2011

The Razor discusses inconsistent treatment of homeless operations by the County Supervisors.  September 12, 2011

Velma Hunt and Brex Lewis's departure from Sunny Acres is covered by KSBY and Cal Coast News. August 31 and September 1, 2011

Cal Coast News notes a particular irony of the situation.  August 31, 2011

More on the sad walk back to the streets from KSBY.  August 29, 2011

The New Times covers the sad walk out of Sunny Acres for the dozen or so former residents.  August, 26, 2011

Following Judge Crandall's orders, more than 12 residents leave Sunny Acres. August 25, 2011

The New Times covers the county's inspection of Sunny Acres.  August 17, 2011

KCOY covers Dan's meeting with the Board of Supervisors. August 17, 2011

The Tribune covers Dan's request to the Board of Supervisors to waive building fees. August 17, 2011

The New Times' Shredder has a different take on the County and Dan DeVaul's home detention.  August 4, 2011

The New Times' Colin Rigby reports on the ankle bracelet, the home detention, and what's next for Sunny Acres.  August 4, 2011

Dan decides to take an ankle bracelet and continue to work on providing new housing for homeless.  August 1, 2011

Judge Crandall wants to visit with Dan on August 25!  July 21, 2011

Judge Trice tells Dan: See you in October!
July 12, 2011

Bill Seavey of Cambria opens and account for Sunny Acres, and talks to the Tribune.  July 6, 2011

The New Times Shredder comments on the state of affairs between the county and Sunny Acres. February 23, 2011

The New Times reports on Dan reporting to jail to turn himself in, only to be sent home. February 23, 2011

The Tribune reports that "
Judges deny Dan De Vaul's appeal of misdemeanor convictions" February 19, 2011

The Tribune reports that "An order for Dan De Vaul to clear residents off his ranch is on hold indefinitely after he appeals."  September 1, 2010

The New Times spends a day at Sunny Acres and publishes the cover story: Eviction Notice - Despite evictions looming over residents at Sunny Acres, it's life as usual  (note this article is  in Adobe Flash Player reader)  August 5, 2010

Bob Cuddy of the Tribune reports:  De Vaul fights court order on homeless.  Key points included are:
  • De Vaul, Belsher wrote, does not collect $300 rent from the homeless who participate in his Sunny Acres clean and sober program. Rather, the money is “a program fee that includes meals, transportation, substance abuse support, recreation, vocational activities and shelter.”
  • De Vaul “operate(s) a nonprofit organization, not a business,” and “there is no evidence Mr. De Vaul receives any of the program fees collected.”
  • Closing down Sunny Acres, Belsher wrote, “directly interferes” with a nonprofit organization and shuts it down “under the guise of a ‘housing order’ by labeling program fees as ‘rent.’ ”
  • Among other points Belsher made: While Crandall said he was making his decision to protect the health and safety of the homeless on De Vaul’s property, 20 of those people submitted declarations on De Vaul’s behalf, and “the court cites no evidence that these program participants are being taken advantage of.”  July 22, 2010

The New Times observes: Having no housing isn’t necessarily worse than having any housing, according to San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles S. Crandall’s ruling that will force residents of the Sunny Acres sober living facility back onto the streets.  July 7, 2010

The New Times’ Shredder tells it like it is  July 7, 2010

Happy Independence Day – DeVaul ordered to “clean out the homeless!  July 3, 2010

The New Times analyzes Sunny Acres’ current legal situation.  June 23, 2010 

Sunny Acres residents are reported worried about bad news, depending on a judge’s upcoming ruling.  June 19, 2010 

Providing a Homeless Solution the Sunny Acres Way

The New Times Publishes a piece on Dan DeVaul’s continuing lawsuit against SLO County.  They note that He told New Times he sees no reason to drop his lawsuit and if he does, he’d face at least $25,000 in court costs and about $60,000 to $70,000 in accrued fines from County Code Enforcement. If DeVaul wins his lawsuit—filed in early 2008—he could be absolved of the alleged code violations and associated fines as well as compensated for his court costs.  March 3, 2010

Outreach in the Crick – Discussions with the homeless  Feburary 23, 2010

Dan DeVaul speaks with WVOX in Westchester, New York regarding Sunny Acres and San Luis Obispo County  February 11, 2010



Good Bye 2009! Hello 2010!  SLO County offered Sunny Acres Residents $2000 each to leave; none accepted!

Article by Matt Lombardini, Sunny Acres volunteer, appears ON PAGE 16 in Women’s Press of San Luis Obispo January 1, 2010
The Girls Guide to Homelessness blogs on the Sunny Acres situation  November 28, 2009

"Well, the timing could not be worse. On the eve of Thanksgiving, San Luis Obispo is tossed in the national spotlight because we jailed a man trying to help homeless people. The New York Times had it today; so did the LA Times."  (From Dave Congalton)  November 25, 2009

While Many County Officials prepare for Thanksgiving, Former juror posts bail for Dan De Vaul, letting him out of jail  More coverage HERE  November 25, 2009

Bay area talk show host blasts SLO County  November 24, 2009

Rancher chooses jail over displacing homeless  November 23, 2009

66 Year old man who houses the least amongst us, is HANDCUFFED AND JAILED  November 23, 2009

HOUSE THE HOMELESS? GO TO JAIL!!!         RIGHT NOW!!!  November 23, 2009

Judge denies rancher’s appeal: Dan De Vaul won’t get new day in court  November 18, 2009

Bouquets and Brickbats: De Vaul trial, round two?  October 22, 2009

Dan DeVaul's attorney asks for new trial after juror says her guilty vote was insincere  October 21, 2009

Lawyers allege jury misconduct in Dan DeVaul case  October 21, 2009
Dan De Vaul convicted of two charges, acquitted of two  (Archived - Tribune)
Undecided jury pushes De Vaul decision to next week  (Archived - Tribune)

No verdict yet in De Vaul case; jury will reconvene Monday  (Archived - Tribune)

Jury in De Vaul case still deliberating  (Archived - Tribune

De Vaul back in court after furlough day  (Archived - Tribune

Dan De Vaul trial testimony focuses on barn at Sunny Acres outside San Luis Obispo  (Archived - Tribune)

Christine Mulholland set in motion De Vaul ranch investigation, officer testifies  (Archived - Tribune)

Trial begins against De Vaul  (Archived - Tribune)

UPDATE: Jury in Dan De Vaul trial hears opening statements  (Archived - Tribune)

Jury selection delayed in De Vaul criminal case  (Archived - Tribune)

What Homeless Problem?  The County’s Legal and Enforcement War on Sunny Acres

The New Times reports:  The county code enforcers, not content with their attempts to bankrupt and jail him for housing the homeless, have told Dan DeVaul he can’t go in his own damn home.   August 5, 2009                                                                           
De Vaul says he’ll keep feeding and housing people.  Archived, Tribune, August 3, 2009
The New Times reports: Not So Fast - DeVaul says he's not kicking anyone out.  August 29, 2009

Becky Jorgeson, volunteer and leader at Sunny Acres, thoroughly explains the case for Sunny Acres on the Dave Congalton radio show.  April 16, 2009

The county sends enforcement agents to Sunny Acres -To say things a little more precisely, they grabbed the cars. (archived - Tribune) And the tow trucks cometh.  (New Times) March 21, 2009
A KSBY report, March 20, 2009, notes that "The owner of a controversial recovery center is outraged after county officials remove items from his property…
DeVaul says he was told in advance to remove or properly store the vehicles. But he also says that county officials told him that since he was making progress, he would be OK."

"I was led to believe that they were just searching, serving a search warrant as part of business, and as long as I've been working ahead and doing everything, everything was all right," DeVaul said. And so then this morning here they come with all these tow trucks….

Did we say “Who cares about the homeless?"  Both KSBY and the Tribune cover the stories  "No witness testimony from those who lived at Sunny Acres", judge says; and  "With DeVaul’s case finally in trial, Judge disallows testimony from homeless in Dan De Vaul case in SLO Superior Court"  March 2, 2009
Blogger Enklings Studio notes The Curious Case of Dan DeVaul  February 28, 2009

With DeVaul headed to court, he carries with him: Sunny Acres: Homeless thank De Vaul in documents  (Tribune Archive,  February 24, 2009)
If Sunny Acres is so bad, why does the county keep sending people there? This article summarizes numerous issues:  controversies on code violations including the upcoming trial where Dan DeVaul is facing criminal prosecution and discusses his defense.  It details Sunny Acres’ appeal of onerous fines imposed on us a year ago for, as an example, selling Christmas trees.  It shows that Sunny Acres still receives new residents occasionally from County Probation office.  Financial operation of Sunny Acres is discussed.  December 17, 2008 

Novel concept: In a New Times commentary, Becky Jorgeson  says to the County Supervisors:  Do right by DeVaul  December 17, 2008


The New Times notes: “At their July 22 meeting, the supervisors showed few signs of leniency in a nuisance abatement hearing that DeVaul had hoped would be a forum for some outside-the-box thinking about how to allow his ranch, and in particular the nonprofit he founded, to co-exist with neighbors who have grown increasingly outspoken about its condition.  Instead, supervisors remained firmly in the box…July 23, 2008

Analyzing the situation, the New Times’ Shredder nails it:  “…county code officials at the board of supervisors meeting stressed that they were most concerned with the health and safety of people. Sure. They’re so concerned they’d rather send the homeless and addicts anywhere but where they’re seen. Do people actually believe that it would be safer for these folks to live outdoors among the drunks and such, than in a recreational vehicle, whether the arrangement fits nicely into the code books or not?”  READ THE WHOLE THING!!!  July 23, 2008

KSBY covered the story, and noted that “DeVaul's backers took up most of the seats in the courtroom Tuesday morning. While this case is bringing out his supporters, it is also bringing out his critics.”  June 25, 2008

The New Times covers the story as well, noting “The county’s justice system didn’t appear well-designed to handle Dan DeVaul on June 24.”

Bob Cuddy covers Dan DeVaul’s Not Guilty plea.  This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com

San Luis Obispo County files suit against Dan DeVaul.  Bob Cuddy covers.  This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com.   June 11, 2008

Lynn Levine, in a letter to the New Times, suggests “… that the D.A.’s office focus on helping Dan DeVaul to continue operating Sunny Acres, as he has asked many times, rather than persecuting him—a man with a heart, good conscience, and passionate sense of community service.”  June 11, 2008

The New Times discusses San Luis County’s “Wanted Man”  June 11, 2008

Sunny Acres Project Manager Steve Jones, who has been helping Sunny Acres address code violations, gives his perspective via commentary in the New Times.  June 4, 2008 

Bob Cuddy of the San Luis Tribune has an article with the headline Sunny Acres showing a kinder face; ranch is complying in many areas.  Dan De Vaul’s ranch is complying in many areas, and the residents have moved tents out of neighbors’ sight.  This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com  March 17, 2008
KSBY notes:  San Luis Obispo County, in spite of Sunny Acres’ clean-up efforts, continues to apply pressure. 

An Ann Calhoun analysis:  “…While the De Vaul battle may be seen as entertaining or annoying, it does bring to public consciousness a growing problem in our beautiful but expensive, rapidly upscaling, soon-to-be totally unaffordable community: Whatever shall we do with the poor, the sick, the halt, the lame, the broken, the broke?...” March 13, 2008

March 7 letters to the San Luis Tribune voice significant support for Sunny Acres.  Betty Woody of Avila Beach proposes the following:  “I would like to invite anyone complaining because they don’t like the view from their pricey homes or any citizen who would like to see Sunny Acres be a place where the homeless and those less fortunate could call home, to put on their grubbies, roll up their sleeves and let’s have a cleanup/repair and shrub planting project to make Sunny Acres into a place that would benefit all—those living there and those who have to look at it….Anyone knowing how to get volunteers together for a project like this please call me (595-9551). I know many citizens donate their time and talents to Habitat for Humanity, and a project like this could sure use their insight. Please call me with any suggestion that you have that would help put a roof over the people who have been evicted.”

Another letter from Ms. Woody appears in the Santa Maria Times.

DON’T SHUT DOWN SUNNY ACRES! – An editorial in the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Mustang. (link no longer available)

March 6 letters to the San Luis Obispo Tribune voice significant support for Sunny Acres.  This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com

More Detailed Reviews of Sunny Acres’ Issues, and a Tribune Article by County Supervisor Bruce Gibson

A March 2, 2008 article in the San Luis Tribune looks at the issues surrounding Sunny Acres in significant detail:
“The drama playing out at the De Vaul Ranch west of San Luis Obispo might seem like a run-of- the-mill squabble between neighbors. But it contains all the elements that define not only San Luis Obispo County but, in a larger sense, human interaction anywhere. …here’s something that’s in short supply: answers to routine questions about the place.”

Q&A: How it’s come to this, and what may be ahead

Here are some of the most common questions about the De Vaul Ranch and what answers are available:

Q: Why doesn’t De Vaul just bring the place up to code?

A: De Vaul says he can’t afford it, estimating the cost at $400,000, including an environmental impact report and consultants he would have to hire. However, Art Trinidade, manager of the county’s Code Enforcement Division, says De Vaul may not have to get an EIR. Ultimately, Trinidade says, the cost of bringing De Vaul’s ranch up to code is unknown because “we haven’t seen a project.”

Q: How dangerous are the residents?

A: Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Martin Basti acknowledges that there are sex offenders at the ranch but says it is better for law enforcement to know where they are living. He says De Vaul cooperates fully with law enforcement and adds that there have been few problems with neighbors, a view shared by San Luis Obispo police Capt. Dan Blanke. Basti says he understands neighbors’ concerns but called some of it “a NIMBY issue.”

Q: What professional treatment do the residents get?

A: There are no professional physicians or psychiatrists at the site, and none required for the clean-and-sober nonprofit. David Day, the unpaid project manager, says residents monitor one another. He administers urine and saliva drug tests. There are weekly Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Bible meetings. Sunny Acres board President Judie Najarian says recovering addicts helping each other is crucial.

Q: Is there a point at which camping out in front of the property becomes a code violation?

A: Yes, according to Trinidade: When 100 people are staying there, or “it starts developing things like portable toilets, recreational areas, parking, etc.”

Q: Are there any circumstances under which residents could move back into the barricaded building.

A: Again, according Trinidade, yes. “But the ‘barn’ would have to be substantiated by a professional engineer, and several have already said, ‘no way.’ That being said, if you put enough money into a project, literally anything can be made to meet code. However, in this case, the costs to repair the structure will be so high that it would be better to just start with a new project…

County Supervisor Bruce Gibson writes a Viewpoint article in the San Luis Tribune - Sunny Acres’ mission is virtuous, but De Vaul must abide by rules - including the following:
The Tribune’s recent editorial encouraged the entire county to support services for the homeless, and certainly that is a responsibility we all share. I believe this county’s residents have great compassion, as evidenced by the letters published in The Tribune and the phone calls my office has received. The clear majority supports Mr. De Vaul’s mission of caring for those who struggle with homelessness and addiction. Several individuals have offered good suggestions and expressed a willingness to help. ….As his district supervisor, I emphasized that my office is available to assist him: to field his questions and concerns, to contact staff, and to help get him timely answers — service I would provide any constituent. Obviously, I can’t promise the approval of a particular project, and the current enforcement issues (both building safety and other unpermitted activities, such as vehicle storage) will have to be resolved through the normal due process. I do pledge my best effort to help him as his elected representative.

This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com

Fined for Selling Christmas Trees?  Trials and Tribulations with San Luis Obispo County  (December 2007 – March 2008) 

As a fundraiser, Sunny Acres has traditionally sold Christmas trees.  This year, “In the latest kerfuffle between rancher Dan De Vaul and county bureaucrats, SLO County code enforcers have begun fining De Vaul $500 per day for selling Christmas trees to benefit Sunny Acres, the not-for-profit clean-and-sober living facility he founded on his 72-acre ranch. County officials say that he doesn't have the proper permits because the tree sale constitutes operation of a roadside stand.”  The fine is now being appealed at the Superior Court level.

On February 20, County officials informed Sunny Acres that residents of the barn on the property must leave.  Sunny Acres responded that the people have nowhere else to go.  Ann Calhoun blogged on this situation on February 21.

In response, a number of Sunny Acres residents attended the next Board of Supervisors meeting, February 26.  They were assured that they would not be evicted, although they would be removed from the barn where they had been staying.  (This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com)

On February 28, KSBY television reported further on the Board of Supervisors meeting.

After eviction, those living in the barn are now in tents outside, and the Tribune asks if this is Sunny Acres’ last stand.  (This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com)

A March 2, 2008 editorial in the San Luis Tribune examines the current situation. (This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com)

A March 12, 2008 letter to the Editor notes “The story of Sunny Acres is only the tip of the iceberg. This would be a good opportunity for the county of San Luis Obispo to outline the programs it has available for the people who have been evicted from Sunny Acres.”  (This article has been archived at http://www.sanluisobispo.com)

Building and Expansion Efforts - December 2006 - October 2007 (includes Sunny Acres’ protest of costs and discrimination by San Luis Obispo County)

Judie Najarian, Chairman of Sunny Acres, was quoted in a San Luis Tribune December 2006 article covering a San Luis Obispo town hall meeting that drew together nonprofits, the government and the private sector: 
Bank of America sponsored the event, the first time it has drawn these disparate forces together in San Luis Obispo County. About 100 people participated.

The difficulties of providing low cost housing was discussed, and commenters were Jennifer McGovern, coordinator of the non-profit Housing Trust Fund of Santa Barbara County, and Judie Najarian: Among the many obstacles is bureaucratic intransigence. McGovern said it takes five or six years to get one project through the planning process. Judie Najarian of Sunny Acres added that the high cost of processing an application prices out some people.

"It’s exhausting, expensive," Najarian said. She pleaded with other attendees to think of "folks that are freezing to death, who are homeless, who don’t have a job."

McGovern said soliciting local support is crucial. "There’s a lot of opposition to change," she said.

NIMBY also is regularly at play — the Not in My Back Yard syndrome, in which residents applaud the idea of a halfway house or battered women’s shelter, but not near them.

McGovern called for a change in thinking.

The county government already is a key player because it regulates housing. San Luis Obispo County plans to take on several major issues in the weeks and months ahead that could provide more affordable housing.

Among them, according to county planner Dana Lillie:

• Redefining "affordable housing," a major issue at a time when the term has become all but meaningless in the public mind;

• Inclusionary housing, which requires developers to set aside a fixed percentage of houses as affordable;

• Restrictions on converting mobile-home parks to other uses; and

• Restrictions on converting rental units to condominiums.

Read the complete article in the San Luis Tribune archives, December, 2006
Citing exorbitant development costs, discrimination in obtaining a simple building permit to add on to his farmhouse and the fact that Sunny Acres is taking care of the bottom economic tier of those county residents who are serious about living substance free; a population that DeVaul feels should be cared for by the county, Sunny Acres residents began a protest on August 22, 2007 to draw attention to their plight by staging a “sleep-out.” 

They placed their bunk beds, which were donated to Sunny Acres by the city owned homeless shelter when they purchased new ones, out in front of the Sunny Acres recovery home on the ranch, next to Los Osos Valley Road , in San Luis Obispo . In an online poll on local television station, KSBY, the majority of votes placed were to allow for the expansion of the Sunny Acres program.  

A news release from Sunny Acres, 10/10/07: Sunny Acres is self-supporting and operates at no cost to the taxpayer. The nonprofit does not ascribe to fixing the problem of addiction with other peoples' money. Those in recovery want to be here; they earn their stay, manage and police each other. All they need now to grow is a simple building permit to add on to the farmhouse but the county stands in their way. Other county residents can get an “over-the-counter” building permit to add on to a residence. This nonprofit must come up with $400,000 to obtain a county conditional use permit. This is discrimination!

(News Release 10/10/07) 

After 55 nights of camping out in protest, Sunny Acres residents are back inside.

(Link Has been removed)


Cal Poly San Luis Obispo project - September 2005 - June 2006

In September 2005, with the help of a dedicated mother whose child had been helped by Sunny Acres, the Architectural School of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo decided to have its senior students review Sunny Acres’ facilities, and design possible long term plans.  See the San Luis Tribune Archives:  Sunny Acres Getting Help from Cal Poly Students / Students Will Have to Design Proposal That Will Convince Neighboring Property Owners that the Project Would be a Good Idea – (editorial) September 24, 2005 

The project proceeded.  See the San Luis Tribune Archives:  Let’s Put the Sun Back in Sunny Acres  - DeVaul/Poly Plan has plenty going for it, such as diplomacy (editorial) - October 2, 2005 

And here is another progress report.  See the San Luis Tribune Archives:  Students Plan Recovery Facility.  Architecture Class and Site’s Owner are Cooperating to Revive the Facility Closed Last Spring – Oct. 12, 2005 

The Cal Poly student newspaper, the Mustang Daily, published an article discussing the project and community reactions.  (Link no longer available)  

More commentary in the Tribune.   See the San Luis Tribune Archives:  Sunny Acres Cleans Up – December 9, 2005 

The Spring 2006 quarter for the Architectural School of Cal Poly continued the design project.  KSBY TV covered the site-visit by the students.  Professor Nick Watry was quoted:  "I do believe at the end of the quarter in three months we will have very viable solutions that could happen, and should happen."    

The New Times posted a follow up story in its June 1, 2006 edition which it discusses “A project by local landowner Dan DeVaul to transform his Los Osos Valley ranch property into a facility for recovering alcoholics and addicts continues to languish before county government, but he hopes a few aspiring architects might, again, soon help change that.”

Initial Founding and Growth - 2001 - February 2005

Sunny Acres was founded in November 2001. By March 2004 Sunny Acres had grown to where 73 people were participating in its clean and sober living environment.  The living quarters consisted of a six bedroom house, and a number of trailers that had been located on the property.  Sunny Acres was found by the County of San Luis to have various code violations, and a process began to evict most of the residents.  A recount of these events can be viewed in the New Times publications’ archive story.

The eviction process culminated in most residents leaving during February and March 2005.  See the San Luis Tribune Archives: Night Falls on Sunny Acres, County Code Violations:  Recovery Facility Forced to Close – February 9, 2005

Sunny Acres then continued under a scaled down clean-and-sober operation that pat the time served 14 associates.  See the San Luis Tribune  Archives:  Recovery Center Clients Must Leave by the End of March, Those Remaining at the Sunny Acres Facility Can Stay a Little Longer Because Its Management Has Met Some Code Requirements – February 25, 2005.