The Maplewood City Council recently tabled a proposed ordinance that would restrict where sexual predators could live in the city. Maplewood would have been only the second Minnesota city to adopt such rules. Taylors Falls passed a similar ordinance earlier this month and St. Paul and Minneapolis are considering such restrictions.
According to a recent article in the Pioneer Press the proposed ordinance would keep certain offenders from living near places where children gather, such as schools, parks and day-care centers. The City Council members expressed concern about creating safe zones for children but not punishing offenders. Some questions that were left unanswered include what level of offender should be subject to the rules and the size of the designated no-predator areas.
The cityâ€™s legal staff proposed the ordinance that is patterned in part on an Iowa state law barring convicted sexual predators from living within 2,000 feet of schools or day-care centers and prohibits property owners from renting to certain offenders as well as holding landlords liable for violations. Concerns with this ordinance include issues such as driving predators to congregate in certain areas, fleeing the state or even failing to register. In addition, the debate continues on the level of sex offenders who would be allowed to reside in Maplewood. A level 2 which is a moderate risk of re-offending â€“or a level 3 â€“ a high risk to re-offend. Only one level 3 sex offender has lived in Maplewood but has since moved away. There are currently 52 registered offenders in Maplewood.
This was the councilâ€™s second consecutive meeting on this ordinance and they voted 5-0 to table the matter until the April 10 meeting.