Can you imagine a Drug Rehab Center in rural Douglas County tucked in between lovely suburban neighborhoods, ranches and horse properties? Well, I am happy to say that Pradera residents were instrumental in winning a major battle in front of the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). At issue was an application to convert a home and the 40 acres it sits on into a drug rehabilitation center.
The property is immediately adjacent to Pradera homes with the proposed rehabilitation house itself situated less than 150 yards from the nearest Pradera residence. Needless to say, numerous residents within our community fought the application every step of the process which initially began in late spring.
The applicant is being foreclosed and the drug rehabilitation center was an attempt to do a short sale with the lender. This effort was also to save an adjoining 35-acre tract from being included in the foreclosure. The application process started with the seven members on the Planning Board.
After several hearings before the Board and strenuous protests on shortcomings of the application, the Board surprisingly recommended approval and passed the application on to the BOCC. The 250+ Pradera residents at each hearing were shocked by the approval but more resolved than ever to defeat this threat to our neighborhood.
With two months to prepare for the BOCC hearings and a better understanding of how the “system” works at the county level, various residents pitched in to delve deeply into critical issues where the application was vulnerable. The internet was invaluable and provided objectionable issues not even addressed by any of the parties during the Planning Board’s hearings. Each of the BOCC’s hearings was held with concerned Pradera residents packing the room. The tension was great when the final vote came as the stakes were high and Pradera’s lifestyle in jeopardy. Applause broke out when all three commissioners finally voted against the application, and it was officially denied
Pradera is a fantastic community and this experience has brought many of us closer together. We banded together as near strangers to protect our families, homes, neighborhood and lifestyle. Now we are stronger, more organized and resolved to protect this truly unique area we proudly call home — Pradera.