Salem passes sex offender residency ordinance

The Salem Town Board unanimously passed an ordinance Monday limiting where registered sex offenders can live and visit within the town.

The action comes a month after many town residents asked for such a law after voicing concerns about current sex offender living arrangement in various Salem locations.

The law was drafted by the town’s law firm and was based on ordinances that have been upheld in court, said Amy Lamerand Zott, acting town attorney.

“This is what we can do at this time …” Zott said, adding that the law’s provisions might be overturned in the  future.

In summary, the ordinance forbids sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of schools, day care centers parks and other specified facilities. It also creates child safety zones, where offenders are prohibited from entering, such as public libraries, public playgrounds and specialized schools for children like gymnastics, music or dance academies.

Supervisor Dennis Faber asked if the County Fairgrounds, which are in the town, should be included in the list of safety zones.

“You identified a ski hill and not every community has a ski hill …” Faber said.

Zott replied that the specific safety zones were designed to be broad and were categories that have been upheld in court.

The ordinance was a good one, Supervisor Jo Weidman said, but might not last forever.

“We all know there’s going to be a hole down the road,” Weidman said

Note: We’re seeking a copy of the full text of the ordinance that we can post. If you’re interested in that, check back.


Comments are closed.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives