CORDILLERA PROPERTY OWNERS ASSOCIATION and
CORDILLERA METROPOLITAN DISTRICT
August 19, 2016
Dear Cordillera Homeowner:
As you know, in late May 2016, a Baltimore-based group known as Concerted Care Group (CCG) informed the Boards of Directors of the CPOA and the CMD that it proposed to acquire the Lodge and Village Center Parcels and convert them to a health and wellness facility catering to "high net worth individuals" with mental health, addiction and related disorders seeking rehabilitative services. While it has not provided many details about its plans, CCG apparently proposes to exclude Cordillera property owners from use of the Lodge Parcel. Local media coverage indicates that "patients [will] pay for anonymity," at a rate of $60,000 per month.
While there is much to be concerned about with the CCG proposal-not least of which is the exclusion of property owners who came to Cordillera, in large part, because of access to the amenities available at the Lodge and Village Center Parcels-your Boards of Directors wish to make it very clear that they welcome people with disabilities to the community. With respect to clients of CCG or to people seeking wellness on their own, the Boards fully embrace the requirements of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). We will not discriminate on the basis of disability and, if asked, we will provide reasonable accommodations to enhance the ability of people with disabilities to use and enjoy the Cordillera community, whether it is in a single family home, as guests or patrons of the Lodge and Spa, or as patients or clients of any healthcare provider offering services in the community.
CCG's lawyers have alleged that certain unnamed Cordillera property owners may have used "code words" to express negative views about prospective CCG clients. To be clear, the CPOA and CMD speak only through their elected representatives and the comments made by individual Cordillera owners are just that - comments from individuals and not from the CPOA or CMD. The CPOA and CMD respects the rights of all individual residents to express their opinions. We, nonetheless, encourage all of our members to educate themselves about CCG's proposal, and the requirements of federal laws protecting the rights of people with disabilities.
In this regard, the CPOA and CMD have retained a nationally respected FHA/ADA expert to advise the CPOA and CMD. This expert is helping to guide the actions of the CPOA and CMD, and to assess whether CCG is misusing the FHA and ADA to bully the County into an improper interpretation of the Cordillera PUD that does not actually advance the interests of people with disabilities, but seeks principally to maximize the financial benefit to CCG and Behringer Harvard (the current owner of the Lodge and Village Center Parcels) while excluding the Cordillera community.
The CPOA and CMD will therefore strongly oppose CCG and Behringer Harvard's improper attempt to isolate and amputate the Lodge and/or Village Center parcels from the Cordillera community - making them available only to CCG's clients and off-limits to the remainder of the Cordillera community, despite the mandates of the Cordillera PUD which designate the Lodge and Village Center parcels to be the social gathering place for the Cordillera community. Such an outcome would not only be contrary to the requirements of the Cordillera PUD and the reasonable expectations of Cordillera property owners, but would also do injustice to the central objective of the FHA and ADA, which is to integrate people with disabilities and to provide the therapeutic benefits of interacting with people who do not have disabilities to the maximum degree.
Contrary to the assertions of CCG, the position taken by the CPOA and CMD does not violate either the FHA or the ADA. In fact, the CPOA and CMD are working with their engaged expert to ensure that their actions are in full compliance with those laws
Since it was established in the 1980's, Cordillera has thrived because of its openness to people who want to share this spectacular mountain resort residential community. The Lodge and Village Center Parcels were created to be, and for decades have served as, the centerpiece and social gathering place for many in this community. The CPOA and CMD therefore welcome any reasonable proposal from CCG or Behringer Harvard that preserves the Lodge and Village Center Parcels as a gathering place for the entire Cordillera community, while also providing opportunities for people in recovery. The CPOA and CMD stand ready and willing to meet with CCG, Behringer Harvard and/or the County to harmonize the interests of all involved parties.