Paris to keep current sex offender residency buffer distances in ordinance revamp

The new Paris sex offender residency map. (Click for a larger view)

The Paris Town Board on Tuesday unanimously approved a new ordinance governing where registered sex offenders can live within the village.

The new ordinance did include some changes in language and terms, explained town Attorney Elaine Ekes. But the key provision of the distance from which a sex offender can live from a protected site was retained at 6,500 feet, after previous discussion about the provision by the board.

Ekes, whose law firm also represents Twin Lakes, explained at a recent Twin Lakes Village Board meeting that recently some sex offender residency ordinances have been successfully challenged in court as too restrictive. Ekes recommended that Twin Lakes keep 60 percent of that village available for residency by sex offenders. That could have been done by reducing the buffer standard. Ultimately, Twin Lakes retained their current buffer, like Paris did.

A sex offender living in Paris also cannot live within 6,500 feet of another resident sex offender.

One of the key changes to the Paris ordinance was changing language about prohibited locations to protected locations, which Ekes said better reflected what the ordinance seeks to do.

The map that is part of the ordinance and also was approved unanimously identifies 10 protected areas. More could be added later, Ekes said.

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