[Please note that the original email incorrectly listed the date as Saturday.  The actual date is Tuesday.  A crorrected email has been sent -dw]

Below is the text of an email received from El Paso County.  The proposed Land Code change may impact our ability to prevent the Shadow Mountain Recovery center currenty occupying the property on Spruce Road from becoming permanent.  The link in the third paragraph will take you to a web page where you can click on the agenda for the May 20th meeting to see the text of the proposed change.  The board encourages you to attend this meeting if you want more information about the issue.


This email is being sent to you because you have, or represent someone who has, previously expressed an interest in the El Paso County’s process or regulations regarding group living arrangements in a residential setting for handicapped and disabled persons also known as sober living facilities and drug and alcohol recovery homes.  The County is proposing to revise its current regulations to ensure compliance with the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988 (“FHAA”), 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq., the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Rehabilitation Act”), 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. 

The proposed amendments will modify the definitions of Group Homes, adjust the occupancy limits upward to maximums that  1)should be accommodating to persons with handicaps or disabilities, and 2) be legally defensible for the County. The amendments remove the requirement for a Special Use Permit for lower occupancy limits and maintain the requirement for a Special Use Permit for such Group Homes above those upper occupancy limits, and  revise the use standards for Group Homes in § 5.2.2, LDC. The proposed amendments will revise the zone districts into which the more institutional Rehabilitation Facility may locate.  Finally, the proposed amendments will eliminate the Adult Care Home use as that will now be covered in the amendments to the Group Home uses.

The language of the proposed amendments is available at http://adm.elpasoco.com/Development%20Services/Pages/PlanningCommission2014.aspx which will be considered by the El Paso County Planning Commission in a public hearing on May 20, 2014, beginning at 9 am.  Subsequent action by the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) is anticipated in June at a yet to be scheduled public hearing.  This timing is based on representations made by the County to the U. S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in response to DOJ’s investigation into a complaint filed by Courage to Change Recovery Ranch (“CCRR”) with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”)  regarding the BOCC’s denial of CCRR’s application for a Use Subject to Special Review Permit (“special use”) on November 8, 2012.

The public is welcome to attend any of the public hearings.  County staff is also available to meet with interested people in a group format the week of May 12, or before the Board of County Commissioners hearing in June.  Any comments or questions can be directed to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 719-520-6323 (Monday-Thursday).

Mark Gebhart

Deputy Director

El Paso County Development Services Department