Planning commission votes no on conditional-use permit for judicial services in former CAPS building |

Planning commission votes no on conditional-use permit for judicial services in former CAPS building

Craig Planning and Zoning commissioners have indicated they won’t support an application for a treatment agency to provide judicial services at the former Community Alternative Placement Services property.

In September, Josh Mayhugh submitted an application for conditional-use permit on behalf of Craig Transitional Housing LLC to provide housing and commercial services at 445 Ranney St., which is currently zoned for high-density residential. 

Mayhugh, who is the vice president of Advantage Treatment Services, wrote in the application that the organization would like to provide judicial services at this location including urine analyses, ankle monitor installations and community services. 

According to the unofficial meeting minutes from the city’s Planning and Zoning meeting on Monday, Oct. 17, commissioners voted 3-0 to recommend Craig City Council reject the request for a conditional-use permit because of the negative public perception. 

A public hearing about the conditional-use permit is on the agenda for the regular City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, when council is expected to vote on the issue.

At the commission meeting, Building Official Marlin Eckhoff presented a brief overview of the conditional-use permit application. According to the minutes, Mayhugh proposed to have judicial services provided in the front office portion of the property and to offer long-term leases renting out the existing boarding rooms to the general public.

During the discussion, Eckhoff explained to the commission that renting out the rooms is a permitted use in this zone, but the judicial services are not and would need a conditional-use permit. 

Mayhugh wrote in an email to Eckhoff that Craig Transitional Housing is acquiring the 445 Ranney St. property and may want to do a sober living model with some of the units. According to Eckhoff, the city’s municipal code does not address correctional or rehabilitation facilities. 

Advantage Treatment Center is contracted by the 14th Judicial District to provide judicial services for Routt and Moffat counties, with the possibility of expanding into Grand County. These judicial services are currently being provided at 59 W. Sixth St. in Craig.

It was brought up at the commissioners meeting that an Oxford House sober living home was opened in Craig earlier this year, raising concerns among neighbors and residents. 

Mayhugh, who was present at the meeting on behalf of the project, wanted the Planning and Zoning commission to know that the Advantage Treatment Centers operate differently than Oxford Houses. Mayhugh said they work with community corrections, which requires state and zoning approval, thus creating more oversight and transparency.

Moffat County commissioners participated in a workshop with the 14th Judicial District Community Corrections Board in October. Mayhugh told the Planning and Zoning meeting his perception was that county commissioners were not interested in community corrections at this time. 

In 2020, Moffat County commissioners voted to deny a contract renewal with Community Alternative Placement Services, also known as CAPS, removing the longstanding rehabilitation program from the community because of a “negative public outcry.” 

Although Eckhoff said that he has never received any complaints about the judicial services being provided at their current location at 59 West Sixth St., planning commissioners were concerned that having those services at 445 Ranney St. would have the same outcome as CAPS. 

Lynn Belleville, who lives adjacent to the property at 445 Ranney St., was present at the commission meeting to discuss denying the conditional-use permit. Belleville, who moved into his property when CAPS was operating, asked the commission to think long and hard before making a decision on the conditional-use permit. 

According to Belleville, in the beginning CAPS residents were innocuous, but over time became more of a burden to his family, as well as the community.

Planning and Zoning commissioners considered tabling the decision until they had more information from county commissioners and the community corrections board. Ultimately, Planning and Zoning members felt that tabling the discussion wouldn’t accomplish anything because more information may not change public perception.

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