Courage to Change v. El Paso County, Colorado
Courage to Change v. El Paso County, Colorado (U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Cir., July 18, 2023) In Courage to Change v. El Paso County, Colorado, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit found that a Colorado county’s zoning code discriminated against group homes for the disabled community. Read the full Opinion here.
The Tenth Circuit found that zoning laws in El Paso County, Colorado, violated the federal Fair Housing Act by imposing more rigorous limitations on group homes for people who are disabled than for other group homes. Courage to Change Recovery Ranch (now Soaring Hope Recovery Center) sought to open a group home for people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction in a residential neighborhood but was denied a special exemption. County law required lower occupancy levels and additional hurdles for group homes for disabled people than for other structured group-living arrangements, such as those for the elderly or foster children. The Court rejected the County’s purported public health and safety justification for the differences, finding the zoning law discriminatory based on disability in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Read the full Opinion here.