The Red Rock Ranch subdivision in Monument sits right in the foothills of the Front Range. The mountain scenery and peaceful surroundings make the neighborhood attractive to home buyers, and it also caught the attention of the leaders of Soaring Hope Addiction Recovery.
"Being here in the house really gives them an opportunity to find peace and to be in an environment where they're close to nature," said Rick Bolin, CEO of Soaring Hope.
The treatment provider has leased a home on Spruce Road for the last two years to be used as a group home. Founder Judy Miller said a residential neighborhood benefits patient recovery in part because it physically relocates addicts away from old environments that fueled their illnesses.
"They cook their own meals, they do their own laundry, they care for the house. So, they're actually learning how to live in a home rather than in an institution," Miller said.
However, Red Rock Ranch homeowners association and El Paso County Code Enforcement see things differently. A 39 page land use complaint suggests that Soaring Hope, which is also known as Courage to Change, actually provides rehabilitation care at the group home on Spruce Street -- that's an important distinction, county spokesman Dave Rose said.
"There may be rehabilitation services offered in that group home that are not envisioned in the zoning requirement," Rose said. El Paso County land use codes prohibit substance abuse rehabilitation facilities from being located in residential zoned areas.
Bolin explained that Soaring Hope only houses a maximum of five clients at a time at the Spruce Road property. Those patients do not drive their own vehicles, and are instead bused to appointments at an office nearby.
"Group homes offer their clients a place to live, but the client needs to go off-site in order to receive treatment, and that is exactly what we do here," Bolin said.
County Commissioners will make a decision about the disputed land use at an administrative hearing as part of their Land Use Meeting Tuesday afternoon at Centennial Hall in downtown Colorado Springs. Like all land use complaints, if Soaring Hope is found to be in violation, the board can then direct the County Attorney to pursue legal action to enforce compliance.