STOP Expansion of Drug & Alcohol Rehab Facility!

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Open letter to TheCity Planning Commission and the Planning & Community Development Land Use Review Committee pertaining to the request by Serenity Peaks Recovery Center, LLC, file number CPC CU 17-00125, increase resident capacity from five (5) to 14 residents at their property located at 6440 Brook Park Dr, Colorado Springs CO 80918.

The signatures of the neighborhood community submitted with this open letter agree with and support the information presented in this letter and respectfully request that the conditional use application in front of your committee be DENIED for the reasons as documented in this letter.

First and foremost, from a practical position of the homeowners in the affected neighborhood, the new owner of the 1.7 acres of the building which houses the Serenity Peaks Recovery Center, LLC should have requested and had a meeting with the residential contiguous neighborhoods prior to their closing on said property.

The new owners should also have had a contingency in their purchase agreement to include an acceptance of the increase of the use from five (5) residents to 14 residents prior to their closing. In fact, this was negligent on the part of the new Serenity owners to have not secured the increase of residents in the recovery center prior to closing. They are now trying to “back pedal” and gain approval after the closing of the property. For this reason alone, the committee should deny their request to increase resident capacity. It is not your responsibility to correct a mistake made by the Serenity buyers, especially since it is detrimental to the contiguous neighborhoods.

As it pertains to the following considerations:

Surrounding Neighborhood: That the value and qualities of the neighborhood surrounding the conditional use are not substantially injured.

We the neighborhood community support the current facilities rights to operate the property as a drug and alcohol recovery facility with its current resident capacity of five (5) residents. We DONOT however support their request to increase the number of residents beyond five (5) residents. Based on the information presented to the community at the meeting conducted on November 13th, 2017 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, we are very concerned that should the request to increase the number of residents be approved, both the value and qualities specific to our neighborhood would be negatively impacted. The Fair Market Value of the homes in the neighborhood community will decrease.

(Please see the attached notes of the meeting and the issues and concerns expressed by the community.)

Intention of Zoning Code: That the conditional use is consistent with the intent and purpose of this Zoning Code to promote public health, safety and general welfare.

We the neighborhood community recognize the terrible struggle of individuals who are trying to recover from alcohol and drug addictions and support their efforts to be freed from those addictions by doing our part.

Based on the information presented at the community meeting on November 13, 2017 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, it is our understanding that our elected officials are demonstrating that support by allowing anyone to purchase residential property and using it as a drug and alcohol addiction recovery center, without the prior input of the community or approval from your committee as long as the number of residents of the facility does not exceed five (5) individuals. We the neighborhood community believe the intention of the current zoning code restriction of no more than five (5) residents is in part designed to maintain the residential character of the neighborhoods while assisting individuals with their struggles.

The community also recognizes that the request by Serenity Peaks Recovery Center, LLC to increase the number of residents from five (5) to 14 is driven predominately by a desire to obtain a higher return-on-investment (ROI) and as stated at the meeting, without any concern for the neighborhood communities’ ROI for what has been invested in their homes and neighborhood.

That being said, we the neighborhood community agree with our elected officials in allowing the current maximum number of five (5) residents in the facility and are strongly against increasing the number beyond five (5) residents.

Comprehensive Plan: That the conditional use is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan of the City.

The current conditional use restricting the number to no more than five (5) residents without prior approval is consistent with the Comprehensive Plan of the City and we the neighborhood community support that decision.

However, we the neighborhood community are strongly opposed to the request by Serenity Peaks Recovery Center, LLC to exceed five (5) residents as there would be no demonstrated benefit to the neighborhood to increase the number of residents beyond five (5) and only the possibility of a negative impact on the neighborhood should the request be approved. Again, our community is happy to do our part in addressing this terrible problem of addiction but are very concerned with the potential impact of taking on more than our fair share of the problem.

In addition, we the neighborhood community that would be affected by the approval of this request, believe it would be a departure from the intent of the current Comprehensive Plan of the City for neighborhoods to equally share in addressing the problem of alcohol and drug addiction by allowing centers in residential neighborhoods whose focus would no longer be to assist individuals with drug and alcohol addictions while maintaining the residential nature of the neighborhood, but whose focus is truly a profit driven business venture irrespective of the possible negative impacts to the neighborhood.

We the neighborhood community respectfully submit this letter, the notes from the community meeting and signatures of neighborhood community members with the hope that your committee will DENY the request by Serenity Peaks Recovery Center, LLC to go beyond their currently approved number of five (5) facility residents.

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