MONUMENT – Sunshine Behavioral Health officially became owner of the Ramada Inn hotel property on Woodmoor Drive Tuesday.
But on Wednesday, neighbors packed the meeting at the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center where tempers flared at times.
Neighbors said they were frustrated they only recently found out about the proposal and had no say before closing. They said this meeting is too little, too late.
“What is going to happen to housing values, and with the schools so close that’s one of the worries. I have two daughters,” Dana Honeycutt said.
Some said they’re worried about the safety of their kids, especially with schools nearby. They said they support the mission, but not in their backyard.
“We just moved to Monument. We paid top dollar for our house and this will probably lower property values,” Bob Fryling worries.
Zoning in El Paso County allows for the facility to move there. Right now, a site development plan needs to be approved to change the site from the hotel to a rehab center. And federal laws protect folks with disabilities.
“They can’t discriminate on what type of operation that it is,” Andrea Barlow with NES Landscape Architects said.
The CEO of Sunshine Behavioral Health said the company has a vetting process. They don’t accept criminals, and it’s not a methodone clinic. He said addiction affects people from all walks of life and they are helping people who want help.
“They come to us voluntarily. It’s not like they’re court mandated or pushed into treatment. They want to get help,” CEO Chad Daugherty said.
While some neighbors went to the meeting with an open mind, most were upset it is looking like a done deal and they had no say in the matter.
County commissioners could hear appeals from neighbors and businesses on the property, but they could only consider changes to the site plan in the hearing. The site plan has to do with driveways, fencing, landscaping, etc.
If and when the amendment plan is approved, the next step will be for the center to get building permits and up to code. They plan to open Mountain Springs Recovery in early 2019.