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Jul 2, 2010 9:35 PM by Ariel Wesler

Judge evicts Sunny Acres residents

The ongoing Sunny Acres saga in San Luis Obispo takes a major turn. A judge ruled today Sunny Acres can no longer operate as a sober living facility and must vacate most of its residents.

It's been a nine year legal battle between De Vaul and San Luis Obispo County. Today, he seemed devastated at the thought of evicting his tenants.

A judge ordered De Vaul to vacate all of the structures on his property except for the legal farmhouse and his apartment. He must evict his 30 tenants by August 20th, but many say they have no where else to go. De Vaul says he could possibly house up to five in his farmhouse.

"When nobody else would help me, not even my family and everybody else turned their back on me. Dan took me in and gave me a shot and here I stand now. I've done nothing but better my life," said James Lack, a longtime Sunny Acres Resident.

"You can sleep in a tent in the creek and nobody's going to bother you, but you can't sleep in a tent on this ranch where we're paying taxes and everything else," De Vaul said.

The judge explained his ruling, stating

"providing public housing alternatives. . . is critically important. However, local governments have an equally important responsibility to ensure that the housing and treatment services that are provided. . . meet certain minimum health and safety criteria. It is an oversimplification to say that any housing is better than no housing."

Neighbors have long complained about the mess at the ranch. They've also raised concerns about registered sex offenders who have lived on the property. De Vaul hasn't decided if he'll appeal the ruling.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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