Neighborhood concerns stop recovery center

“He did what he said he would do”

Citing neighborhood concerns, the Oh-Be-Joyful Church has decided to withdraw its proposal to build and operate a substance abuse “transitional care facility” in the northeast side of town.

 

 

Originally proposed to be constructed behind the current church building, New Adam’s House was to be a faith-based program geared toward men on the road to recovery from substance abuse.
The church had held two public meetings to address concerns about the facility, to be located at Seventh and Gothic. A November 20 meeting packed the Crested Butte Town Council chambers and addressed dozens of questions. Last week’s meeting on Thursday, January 22 brought in fewer people and questions, but no less opposition from neighbors.
“One of the things we value is to be good neighbors,” explained Oh-Be-Joyful pastor Jim Kunes. “The neighbors have been very open and honest about their concerns and we hear them. At this time we have decided to not pursue locating New Adam’s House on the property behind the church.”
While no formal application had been submitted to the town, approval of the proposed 5,300-square-foot facility would have required the town to make a decision on whether or not to allow it as a conditional use in the T-Zone (tourist zone). Such facilities are not currently approved for that zone in Crested Butte. New Adam’s House was to have accommodated up to 12 men in the “phase-four” stage of addiction recovery.
That neighborhood is home to several bed-and-breakfast operations. Those owners were concerned that a recovery center could damage their businesses and property values.
Other concerns were that the facility wouldn’t be licensed since it was proposed to be a “faith-based” program; success rates for people in such programs were low; and Crested Butte was a place that would provide too much temptation for those trying to recover from substance abuse.
Kevin Reinert of the Elizabeth Anne Bed and Breakfast said he was surprised but pleased by the decision. “I think we as a neighborhood are pleased with this announcement and pleased that Jim was fair and honest with the process,” he said. “He had told us that if we could show them that the facility would have a negative impact on our business, they would back off. We showed him that clients had written us saying they probably wouldn’t come back if the facility was approved and so it was impacting our business and they backed off. We appreciate that he really did what he said he would do.
“We were surprised when we heard about the decision to not build the facility through the grapevine,” Reinert continued. “And then he came to our house and gave us a copy of the letter going in the paper and we had a good conversation. We appreciate it. He said they were going to look for other places to place the house. We were never against the idea—just the location.”
Kent Cowherd owns property in the neighborhood and had written a letter of opposition to the Town Council about location concerns. He said he was happy with the outcome of the discussion and felt the process worked. “Our concern was that the facility just didn’t meet the intent of the tourist zone,” he said. “It was clearly out of context for the intent of the zone.”
“We tried to be honest in the process and it worked,” said Kunes. “It’s sometimes hard and it’s not necessarily what we would have liked, but it was the process.”
In the letter from the New Adam’s House Committee (see page 3), Kunes said the church is “still committed to moving forward with our vision and will explore other options.”
Kunes and the committee say they are still dedicated to finding a way and a place to realize their vision for such a transitional care facility.

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