Local News

Sep 1, 2010 8:07 PM by Danielle Lerner

Sunny Acres residents staying put indefinitely

They were ordered to leave by Friday, but now residents of Sunny Acres will be allowed to stay indefinitely.
A judge ordered the sober living facility to shut down and evict its tenants because of substandard housing.
Sunny Acres Owner Dan Devaul appealed the judge's order Monday, bringing all other proceedings to a halt.
More than a dozen people living in sheds, motor homes and tents on the Sunny Acres property will be staying put for at least a little while longer.
"I think it's even taking us a while to understand what it's like not to have that pressure on us," said Barbara Hirahara, a resident and staff member.
"We had discussed putting the people out by the roads in beds," said Devaul. "We really didn't feel like throwing the people out was an option."
However not everyone is breathing that same sigh of relief.
"I think it's great if he wants to help these people, I have a problem with the junkyard, with the mess," said Vince Uhler, who lives just across the way from Sunny Acres.
Uhler says he is frustrated the ongoing battle between Devaul and the county has been allowed to continue for so long.
"Either nail him or leave him alone, quit setting deadlines and getting everybody all excited and then saying no, we're going to postpone this deadline, were going to extend this deadline," said Uhler.
Still Devaul and others at Sunny Acres insist they are making progress.
"We've been working to try and bring things up to code, we've been really steadily trudging through what we need to do in order to make this place operational," said Hirahara.
Building plans for an 8,000 square foot home are currently under review.
"That's further than we've got in nine years so I'd say that's definitely looking forward," said Devaul.
The county was scheduled to perform an inspection at Sunny Acres on September 7, but until the appeals process is resolved that inspection has been postponed indefinitely.
The county says it still has a valid court order against Sunny Acres but it cannot take any action until the appeals process is complete.
The case is due back in court on September 9.

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