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New Subdivisions Ban Sex Offenders From Moving In

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Shipwreck, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Well-Known Member

    New Subdivisions Ban Sex Offenders From Moving In

    Texas Developer To Begin Second Neighborhood

    POSTED: 10:38 am CDT June 13, 2006

    A new subdivision planned in Kansas will look and feel just like any other development in the fast-growing area.

    But there's one big difference: Registered sex offenders won't be allowed to live in the new development in Lenexa, Kan. The development will be off of K-10 highway and and Woodland Road in Johnson County, Kan.

    In August, construction begins on the Kansas City area's first sex-offender-restricted subdivision, probably only the second such development nationwide.

    A Texas-based developer said his plan is an answer to a problem communities wrestle with -- how to keep sexual predators far from children and families.

    Their first such project in Lubbock, Texas, has nearly sold out in nine months. Developer Clayton Isom said he's planning other such subdivisions in the Kansas City area after the Lenexa project is finished.

    "Certainly, there are things you can do to improve a neighborhood, like pour better streets or build a park. But this is more," Isom told The Kansas City Star. "We can keep one little girl or boy safe."

    The developer works closely with homeowners' associations to draw up restrictions banning registered offenders from living inside the development. Potential owners will undergo background checks. If a homeowner becomes a sex offenders after they move in, the association will give them huge financial penalties, a fine of at least $1,000 a day, until they move out of the neighborhood, The Star reported. And a lien may be put on the house, in order to collect the money.

    Apparently, the exclusion of sex offenders is legal. Lubbock's community development executive director Nancy Haney told The Star that the restrictions do not violate the Fair Housing Act.

    "Sex offenders aren't considered one of the seven protected classes," Haney said. "The developers did their homework."

    Isom said his company wants to lobby lawmakers to create financial incentives for developers who create neighborhoods that ban sex offenders.

    Not everyone is happy about the idea.

    "If entire towns and municipalities do this, you have serious constitutional issues," Brett Shirk, executive director of the area chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Star. "If you start outlawing all these areas, where are offenders going to live?" He said it is a "slippery slope."

    The restrictions do not apply to people who have been removed from the sex-offender registry or people who have other crimes on their records. It only applies to sex offenders on the sex-offender registry.

    Isom said he got the idea for the subdivisions after he heard about a 9-year-old Florida girl, Jessica Lunsford, who was kidnapped, raped and killed -- allegedly by a registered sex offender. Court records said that convicted sex offender John Evander Couey admitted kidnapping Jessica, keeping her in his bedroom for several days and burying her alive behind his home.
  2. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member

    If this sets a precedent how far behind can gun-free/crime target subdivisions be?

    Actually I might like that idea. If there is a gun-free subdivision in town there is no reason for a criminal to risk going anywhere else.
  3. SJG26

    SJG26 member

    Maybe a false sense of security.....???

    They will ban the "known" sex offenders...................parents/people need to be alert for the unknown ones too!
  4. SteveS

    SteveS Well-Known Member

    I have no problem with citizens, through some type of contract or covenant, deciding on what kinds of rules they want. If I don't like them, I won't buy a house there.
  5. Low-Sci

    Low-Sci Well-Known Member

    Doesn't seem like a bad idea at all to me. The developer is probably making plenty of money on that little catch, and I guess as a business they reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

    Course, that doesn't stop sex offenders from living elsewhere and going into the neighborhood.
  6. Erebus

    Erebus Well-Known Member


    Hadn't thought of it that way. If private citizens choose to establish an agreement amongst themselves there is no reason to oppose it.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

    It's when government tries to impose it that it becomes a problem and objectionable.
  7. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    I do not disagree with this in principle, until I recall that it was the same argument made to me ten years ago when I tried to sell some rural property in NC and was advised by my neighbors that I better not sell it to anyone with a suntan and curly hair. :what:

    We as a society already allow the institutionalization of certain values, with the goal of preventing the most eggregious of discriminations. According to the article, we already have seven protected classes defined within the Fair Housing statutes. Will this subdevelopment not simply act as the catalyst for adding an eighth (ex-cons)?

    Is he right? Are there Constitutional issues here?

    The whole sex offender registry has always seemed unfair to me, in that it violates my concepts (notice I didn't say 'the law', since I don't know the law) regarding double jeopardy and 'paying your debt to society' and all that. I understand the arguments - recidivism rates for sex offender being what they are - but it bothers me nonetheless. Especially bothersome are the inclusion of 'touching' crimes as sex offenses, since they require that judgement be made regarding the INTENT of the act rather than judging the act itself.

    To be placed on a sex offender registry for life, especially over a 'touching' crime conviction, seems hardly fair. To compound that with further penalties (however privatized) just doesn't sit well with me. Even if it is/remains legal to create such a subdivision, I would not live in one.
  8. Augustwest

    Augustwest Well-Known Member

    While I don't disagree with the concept in general, that right there tells me all I need to know about Clayton Isom...
  9. razorburn

    razorburn member

    You probably would if you had kids. As you acknowledged, sex offenders have incredibly high rates of re-offense. I have no pity for child molesters and the like. What comes to them has been brought on themselves. Even if you think "touching" crimes aren't so bad, it's just as sick to me if some disgusting pervert decided to just grope somebodies 9 year old daughter.
  10. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Well-Known Member

    I have no problem with private businesses creating developments that keep out Registered Sex Offenders, or Felons or whatever.

    But the instant laws are written to do this the line has been crossed (and for that matter, once government creates "incentives" to create these developments the line has been crossed).
  11. SteveS

    SteveS Well-Known Member

    Good point. I can see something like this getting out of hand or becoming institutionalized, along the lines of affirmative action.

    Personally, I doubt I would live in one. It is likely that a person would pay a premium to live there and would only get the benefit of not having a registered sex offender living next door to them. I am not saying this isn't a good benefit, but it will probably give people a false sense of security.

    I have worked as a family therapist and probably treated several hundred child victims of sex crimes. I never had one that was molested by a stranger. The vast majority were molested by a relative, family friend, step-parent or the boyfriend of mom. If you really want to protect your kids, be careful who you let watch them and don't ignore warning signs just because you don't believe that your relative would never do someting like that.
  12. Manedwolf

    Manedwolf member

    +1. It steals a child's childhood innocence forever, it can never be fixed or replaced, the memory will be with them for life.

    That, to me, is unforgiveable, and I'm all for repeat offenses being a capital offense. Even FIRST TIME ones, if convicted, have no place in civilization.

    I would also be very, very lenient on any parent who had killed a sex offender caught abusing their child. Who wouldn't?
  13. Wes Janson

    Wes Janson Well-Known Member

    Yes, but how many people are registered sex offenders who AREN'T child molesters, or rapists? Ever heard of the term "statutory rape"? Or that other great one: "lying"?

    A friend I've known for quite some time is in jail right now for having consensual sex with another teenager. When you mix ambiguous and wide-sweeping laws with aggressive and vindictive prosecution, the result is the destruction of the true purpose of the justice system. I've seen first-hand the results. Be thankful that you've never been caught up in it.
  14. rbernie

    rbernie Well-Known Member

    As point of fact, I have three young children (ages 11, 5, and 3) and I do not take my role as a parent lightly.

    But let's be serious here for a minute - how many of you have patted a youngster on the back or touched them on the arm during the course of some interaction? All of us. I've recently had occasion to watch a grown man be tried and darn near convicted of a sex crime for exactly that - a crime that generally resolves to 'inappropriate touching'. Bear in mind that this touching occurred in public, with everyone fully clothed, did not involve any private body parts, and was conducted with no overt signs of arousal or obvious groping. The charges were brought against this man because several young girls decided to get their teacher in trouble. The defining line between a conviction or acquittal or not was the jury's determination regarding the defendant's INTENT during the touching. Essentially, he was being tried for a thought crime rather than for a real crime. Fortunately for him, the jury could not find it in themselves to see evil intent in the touching and chose to acquit him. But he's still a destroyed man - loss of job, loss of career, and tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills - and all over our desire to judge 'intent' during normal human interactions.

    I'm sorry - as far as I'm concerned, 'touching' crimes are far too subjective to be useful in matters of law.
  15. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Well-Known Member


    In my county, since 2003, all new subdivisions are required to have a homeowners association. Yes, we do have choice and can move somewhere else but I've moved 10 times since school and sometimes due to other circumstances and other variables the HOA is the least of your worries at the time.

    The one I live in has a no "display or discharge of firearms" clause - first time I've ever seen that in the covenants. The discharge part I understand (and usually comply with ;) ) but the 'display' wording has me a little concerned. After talking with the management company it seems that if I walk to my mailbox with my .45 on me and a neighbor sees it, I can be fined. :fire:

    IMHO HOA's are inherently evil - any time you get petty people in positions of power no good will come of it. Yes they *can* keep property values up by keeping pink flamingos out of the yard, but they do a lot more harm with individual rights & property ownership. Amazing to me that HOA's covenants can supercede city/county/state law in some cases.
  16. RyanM

    RyanM Well-Known Member

    Unfortunate title. When this thread is at the top, all you see from the main page is "New Subdivisions Ban Sex..."
  17. K-Romulus

    K-Romulus Well-Known Member

    already done in some areas

    My former yuppie apt building in the Ballston section of Arlington, VA, had a "no sex offender" clause in the lease. And they did do some sort of criminal background check to verify it.

    NYC already has co-op associations (similar to homeowner associations for condominiums or high-rise apartment buildings) discriminating against firearms owners:

  18. Camp David

    Camp David member


    Due to the extremely high recidivism rate of sex offenders, I would like to actually explore whether entire counties could enforce a similar ban! Probably illegal but the point is that lenient judges are letting these folks out way too soon and they prey upon those innocent among us! Ban them from every residential community with children would be a great message to send. And if initial sex offenders commmit the crime again, make the lenient judges party to their banning from youth communities.
  19. RaetherEnt

    RaetherEnt Well-Known Member

    This is actually quite a coincidence, as just two days ago I did a search in Kansas of registered sex offenders. Turns out, I have more than a dozen within a mile of my house. Not 18 year olds that got caught messing with their 17 year old girlfriend, but grown men that have been convicted of rape, child molestation, etc. And this is a very nice neighborhood / area.

    This new subdivision is less than a mile from my house. I like the idea, however, those who move there, while they might not have sex offenders IN their neighborhood, will still have them very close by.
  20. Zedicus

    Zedicus Well-Known Member

    I have mixed feelings about this due to the fact that in several states you can get convicted of being a "Sex Offender" for simply taking a wizz behind a bush/tree in the woods....:barf:

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