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New Subdivisions Ban Sex Offenders From Moving In

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

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  1. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    +1

    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
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    rbernie Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    +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 Member

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    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
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    rbernie Member

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    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 Member

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    +1

    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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

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    +1

    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 Member

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    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 Member

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    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:
     
  21. Shipwreck

    Shipwreck Member

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    There's another thread floating around about sex offenders - either on this site or on glock talk - I forget.

    Supposedly, that's a myth about having to register as a sex offender because of peeing...
     
  22. mondocomputerman

    mondocomputerman Member

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    Sounds good to me! I live in Lenexa, minutes away from where the developer is, um, developing. There are a few sex offenders close to where I live, I found out after doing an online search.

    Sounds like it may raise property values.
     
  23. pete f

    pete f Member

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    Well i have a good friend who's son is doing time andwill have to file as a sex offender for life because he had sexually contact with his Girlfriend. They started going out when he was 17 and she was 15. When she was 17 and he was 19, they had a pregnancy scare, Her mom calls the cops and demands prosecution. Statutory rape. The trial was a farce, the situation of dating and the age at which they started to "consort" was not allowed in the trial, all that was really allowed was age, activity and that fact he was now an adult and she was a minor. Never mind that she could have gone with him to North Dakota and gotten married without a parents approval.

    I have seriously hard times with HOA's. I have seen how they work. A few people often get on the board and make anyone they want to have a misserable life.

    What happens if this homeowner is accused of a sex crime, NO ONE will make an offer on his house becuase everyone will know that he has to sell it and that will defeat his ability to resell the house. What happens to the wife and kids? What if it is the homeowners kid who get charged with a prank gone wrong. Who among us never shoved another kid into the girl bathroom, or pants'ed a guy when he was in the hallway? This is making me ill.


    I HATE child molesters. Have no regard for them at all, lower than dog poop in my eyes, same with rapists. But I have a serious problem with making a person "branded for life" over incidents that we all know are not always what they seem. Sure, the serial rapist sexual predator is fair game, but at which point do we draw the line. My daughters highschool has several girls who are or have been pregnant. All are under 18, if we press charges against some of the fathers of these babies, why not all? At what point do we say party A is and party B is not a sex offender. Too much of this is arbitrary and up to the people making the charges.

    My Neighbor married his wife when she was 16 and expecting, he was a year or so older, he is now a EE and a MBA, (true he is an exception) but in todays climate he would be listed as a sex offender.

    Although it enters into contract law, i find HOA's to (in my mind) be almost unconstitutional in the amount of rights that HO's are forced to give away.

    I would also find that the county previously discussed where all new subdivisions are required by statute to have a HOA, to be an illegal relinquishment of powers of the county.
     
  24. Crosshair

    Crosshair Member

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    OK, this has struck a nerve with me so this is going to be a long one.

    Actualy child molesters have a LOWER rate of re-offense according to most studies who research this issue.

    # child molesters had a 13% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 37% reconviction rate for new, non-sex offenses over a five year period; and
    # rapists had a 19% reconviction rate for sexual offenses and a 46% reconviction rate for new, non-sexual offenses over a five year period.​

    That is from http://www.csom.org/pubs/mythsfacts.html. That is just one of many sources. The simple fact is that many molesters are never reported and caught so, in essence, these laws do nothing to protect childred. Since molesters who have not been caught are a much greater threat than those who have. We are looking that those who DID molest children instead of looking for those who ARE molesting children.

    We are letting these people out of jail and telling them to reintegrate with society, yet they can't get a job, they can't get a place to live, because they have the stigma of "Sex offender" attached to them. How do we expect them to NOT turn to crime when they are faced with such odds. Sure, put them on probation, keep track of them for a few years to be sure that they are behaving. Unless we are going to keep them locked up for life we need to give them a chance to rebuild their life. Mabee they will reoffend, mabee they won't, but if you make them second class citizens you might as well keep them locked up.

    Children loose their innocence all the time, be it from one way or another. It is a simple fact of life and being raped/molested is just one way it happens. When I was a child I had to watch an aunt I loved very much die a long and painfull death from leukemia. I left her one day, came back the next day to see her and she was dead. I walked into that room wither name on the door and saw an empty bed. For a little kid that is very traumatizing any way you try and spin it. I still remember her lying in that bed, with more machines hooked up to her than a child should have to see. I had nightmares for months after that. I wanted too, but could not go see my grandpa before he died a few years ago because I was too scared of having to see someone I loved very much in that condition again. Having my grandpa being in a similar condition made all those memories that I tried to forget come back. I still can't go into the ICU of a hospital without crying like a baby. (Like I am doing right now as I write this.) Terrible things happen all the time to kids, you have to learn to deal with the emotions and move on. Yes it is tearible, yes it hurts, and there is not a dammed thing that anyone can do about it. Branding the person responsible may feel good, but it doesn't solve anything. It doesn't erase the suffering, it doesn't ease the pain. All it does is make society feel like it is doing something when it is not.

    I hate to sound heartless, but child rape victims are nothing special. All of us are a victim of some tragedy and we all have memories that we wish would vanish from our minds. What makes child molestation apear so much worse is that the victim is a child, there is a criminal that can be blamed, and often both are still alive to be paraded before the media for photo ops during the trial. Drunk drivers kill kids all the time and yet overall we pay more attention to the child that was victimised, but is still alive and still has the chance to live a normal life as opposed to the child that is dead. It is all based on emotion.

    Sorry to write a novel, but I am tired of people acting like child molestation is the only traumatizing event that children can go through. I'll probably get flamed, but I had to speak my mind on this issue.
     
  25. razorburn

    razorburn member

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    Lower than what? They're still among the groups with the highest rates of re-offense. We're looking at those who DID and have a 13-17% chance of doing it again. That's still not close to acceptable. If 13-17% of gun owners were committing felonies, I'd have no problem with them regulating gun owners too. But that's not the case. It's far under even 1% of us who are criminals. As for statutory and all... I'm 21 now, and had been with my girlfriend who is 2 and a half years younger from when I was 17-20 yrs, the whole time which she was technically underage. You don't get in trouble for this. I was told states have a leniency period for up to a 3 or 4 year age difference. If a 40 year old sicko has intercourse with a 14 year old, then he does deserve to be labeled a felon of the highest degree. I would also be extremely lenient towards a parent who kills scum like this. Honestly, if we could alter sentencing to an automatic death sentence for anyone convicted of rape or child molestation in any form, I'd fully support it.
     
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