AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“Wake up Whittier, wake up California!” she shouted to boisterous applause from the crowd of 100 or so audience members. Beginning Sunday, dozens of residents staged protests outside Perez’s home, distributed fliers and collected over 340 signatures from residents opposed to Perez’s plans. Perez, however, told the council he wanted to be open-minded and was now considering opening a home for women with different problems – a “multiple need” home. “I’m trying to reassure the community that I’m not planning on letting in criminals and I won’t allow drinking or drugs,” Perez said. “I’ve been trying to formulate something that can benefit the community. I love family. I would do anything to defend the family.” City Attorney Dick Jones said that state law prevented cities from regulating homes with six or less residents as long as they do not offer treatment or education of any kind. WHITTIER – The owner of a proposed halfway house Tuesday said he would sit down with the city attorney and work out an agreement for the facility that would be acceptable to the city and neighbors. More than 30 residents addressed the council and demanded answers about what could be done to head off what they believed were plans to open a sober-living recovery home in the 10000 block of Orange Drive, next door to a state-licensed residential day-care. One by one, neighbors of Jerry Perez – the owner of the proposed facility – voiced fears over potential crime, dropping home prices and prowling child molesters. “We must keep the pressure on until we find out the truth \,” said Judie Leos, who lives across the street from Perez. “Most people don’t know that someone can open up a halfway house of men in your neighborhood and there’s no way to stop it. And they can put it right next door to a licensed day care. “The challenge is that the state, in their infinite wisdom, chose to preempt local control,” Jones said. “It all depends on what what type of facility \ opens, but the result is that it’s an uphill battle.” Jones said there are currently about five separate bills in the State Assembly that address this issue, but he did not know their status. Jones and council members grilled Perez directly when he got up to speak during the public oral communications. Perez said he had checked with the city’s planning department to find out what he was allowed to do and was told he could open a home of six people with no license or permit requirements. After numerous questions, Perez agreed to make some voluntary concessions by working on an agreement with Jones about how he intended to use the property. “I really want to clarify and communicate with the city and my neighbors,” Perez said. “I’ve been constantly misunderstood. I saw a mindless mob Sunday, and I don’t want to inflame things. I’m available to clarify.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!