Cordillera homeowners handed final legal loss in battle against rehab center
Colorado Supreme Court says planned residential treatment facility is within its rights
Colorado’s Supreme Court dropped the hammer on a group of Cordillera homeowners’ legal fight against an integrated behavioral health, wellness and addiction recovery center.
The state’s high court said Monday that it would not review a November 2018 Colorado Court of Appeals decision the Eagle County Commissioners were correct when they said Noah Nordheimer and his partners, CSNM LLC, are within their rights to convert the former Lodge at Cordillera into a wellness and residential treatment facility.
The Cordillera group of homeowners sued in 2016, losing in front of 14 judges in six different courts in their years-long squabble with Nordheimer and his partners. No judges ruled in their favor.
Monday’s ruling should be the final nail in the Cordillera homeowners’ courtroom coffin, Nordheimer said.
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“Cordillera has made no secret of its desire to exclude people suffering from addictions from receiving treatment inside the Cordillera community,” Nordheimer said in an email. “Businesses like ours all over the country face opposition like this, but perhaps none of those legal battles have been as expensive or as long as ours. With today’s decision, we are more excited than ever to be opening All Points North Lodge and offering world-class treatment to those suffering from various addictions. We think the spectacular environment that Cordillera offers is ideal for successfully getting our clients on the path to recovery.”
Eagle County Attorney Bryan Treu said he’s glad the legal fight is over.
“It has been quite the litigation odyssey,” Treu said. “I am happy to see it come to a conclusion and am pleased with the result. We remain hopeful and confident that the proposed addiction treatment facility will only enhance the world-class community of Cordillera.”
Battles since the beginning
The project has been embroiled in legal battles since the Eagle County commissioners approved it, beginning with District Court Judges Paul Dunkelman and Fred Gannett. It worked its way through the U.S. District Court in Colorado, to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Colorado Court of Appeals and finally to the Colorado Supreme Court.
The Colorado Metro District dropped out of the appeal after District Court Judge Dunkelman ruled against them in September 2017. The Cordillera Property Owners Association dropped out after losing before the Colorado Court of Appeals in November 2018.
“The Cordillera community made clear from the start that lawsuits were the way they were going to try to stop CSNM,” Sarah Baker, the attorney representing the Concerted Care Group said. “After three years, the decision in today’s case put out their last remaining ray of hope that the courts would agree with them. It is now clear — and final –— that the property may be used as a treatment center. We hope that today’s decision brings certainty so that the Cordillera community finally embraces this very special, industry-leading facility.”
Behringer Harvard battle back on
Behringer Harvard sold The Lodge at Cordillera to Nordheimer’s Concerted Care Group and CSNM LLC. After shopping The Lodge around for three years, the Concerted Care Group was the only serious prospect, according to court documents.
Monday’s Colorado Supreme Court decision clears the way for Behringer Harvard to sue four individual homeowners: Jane Wilner, Trudo Letschert, Robert Rudnick and Russell Schmeiser.
Attorney Thomas Wilner did not return a request for comment.
Renovations on the property started last year.
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When a crowd of around 500 people showed up in Vail on Tuesday night to join a protest march in support of Black Lives Matter, the gathering plainly violated Eagle County’s current COVID-19 recommendations.