Cordillera plan set for Eagle County hearing
September 19, 2016
EDWARDS — Noah Nordheimer and his firm want spend up to $80 million to transform The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera into a health/wellness and high-end addiction treatment center.
The Cordillera Property Owners Association wants to stop him.
Nordheimer, who operates Baltimore-based Concerted Care Group, says Cordillera's founding documents allow medical facilities, and that includes his proposal. Eagle County's community development department director, Bob Naracci, agreed.
"The Eagle County Managing Director (of community development's) determination in this regard is simply wrong," said the Cordillera Property Owners Association in a statement supporting an appeal.
Nordheimer says he just wants to start helping people suffering with addictions.
"We are hopeful that pending the outcome we can put this behind us and move forward working together with the community," Nordheimer said.
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The Eagle County Commissioners are scheduled to hear the case Tuesday beginning at 4 p.m. The three-hour hearing will be held in the Eagle County Building, 500 Broadway in Eagle.
Our story so far
Nordheimer's Baltimore-based Concerted Care Group is buying The Lodge & Spa at Cordillera from Behringer Harvard, an Austin, Texas company. CCG plans to spend up to $80 million to renovate The Lodge and Spa, and convert it into a health/wellness/addiction treatment center.
Nordheimer said when it's open, he expects to employ 75 to 100 medical professionals and staff, with an average salary of up to $100,000.
Cordillera twice appealed an Eagle County interpretation that the treatment center is an allowed use under Cordillera's development regulations.
"We hope to show the commissioners that the director's interpretation is in error," said Rachel Oys, executive director of the Cordillera Metropolitan District. "We feel this is upholding Cordillera's (controlling development documents), and all resort region planned communities have an interest in that."
And that brings us to Tuesday's hearing with the county commissioners.
"Where people will come to get well"
Nordheimer says the plan has a place in Cordillera, and the need is immediate.
"There is a desperate need for the advancement of treatment by evidence-based practices which The Lodge will provide by integrating addiction treatment, primary and preventative care, behavioral health and other wrap-around services such as yoga, Pilates, fitness and a farm-to-table dining experience with fresh produce coming from one of largest and most beautiful greenhouses in the West. This is where people will come to get well," Nordheimer said.
Nordheimer said Cordillera's tactics constitute discrimination, and violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and federal fair housing laws.
When asked about taking the Cordillera Property Owners Association and metro district to federal court for those alleged violations, Nordheimer responded, "accountability creates responsibility."
Oys said they're not in court — yet.
"We are participating in the public land use process and appealing the director's decision. It is not a lawsuit," Oys said. "Concerted Care Group's intention to operate an addiction treatment center and a related residential rehab facility, is not permitted use in our (development)."
POA remains unconvinced
Dr. David Goldstein and attorney Michael Allen, writing on behalf of the Cordillera Property Owners Association and the Cordillera Metro District, insist that Cordillera's development regulations don't allow things like Nordheimer's plan.
"The Cordillera (development plan) is a 59-page document that provides a broad list of 34 different 'permitted uses' allowed on The Lodge and village center parcels. However, neither an addiction treatment center nor a residential rehabilitation facility are listed as 'permitted uses,'" Goldstein and Allen wrote.
Cordillera's regulations do allow a medical facility that provides non-critical care.
"The inpatient treatment facility proposed by Concerted Care Group Management cannot meet the definition of a medical facility providing 'non-critical' care," they wrote.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.