Sex offenders: Here’s your 5% of the city

That’s right, according to reporter Jennifer McLain, an ordinance approved in El Monte Tuesday night will restrict registered sex offenders to move into only about 5 percent of the city.
The ordinance expands on state law, McLain reports, and basically further limits already strict provisions on exactly where sex offenders can lives:

El Monte tightens limits on sex offenders
Jennifer McLain, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 08/05/2008 11:53:24 PM PDT

EL MONTE – Local officials are further limiting where high-risk sex offenders can live in the city.
The City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that prohibits the city’s sex offenders from living in motels and too close to child care facilities.

“There are very small portions in the city where they can now reside,” said Jim Beres, the city’s neighborhood services manager.

Now, there are 131 registered sex offenders that live within El Monte that the ordinance could apply to, but officials said that those sex offenders would be grandfathered in and would not be forced to move out.

Sex offenders can now only live in about 5 percent of the city.

The ordinance expands on state law, which prohibits sex offenders from living with 2,000 feet of schools and parks.

In addition to state law, El Monte’s ordinance bans sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of child care facilities, from living in motels or hotels and from having more than one sex offender living at a location.

Councilman Juventino “J” Gomez said Tuesday that he asked that the city look into “tightening up” the city’s ordinance as other communities in the San Gabriel Valley have done recently.

Rosemead, Covina, Alhambra, West Covina and South El Monte have all recently imposed stricter guidelines on where sex offenders can live.
Alhambra implemented its ordinance in the spring.

“The impetus was that multiple sex offenders were being placed in one location, and that was a concern,” said Alhambra police Chief James Hudson.

Immediately after the ordinance was implemented, the five sex offenders living in one home were removed.

“No further issues related to sex offenders in Alhambra have occurred,” Hudson said.

In West Covina, officials passed restrictions on where sex offenders can live and loiter.

Among the restrictions is that they cannot live within 2,000 feet of child care centers and they cannot loiter within a 300-foot radius of child care centers, public and private schools, school bus stops, parks, public libraries, swimming pools and children’s playgrounds.

El Monte officials said that they considered banning sex offenders outright from living in the city, such as South El Monte did.

Last month, South El Monte limited sex offenders from living 2,640 feet from any school, child care facility or park in the city – which means that there is no where in the city where sex offenders can live.

El Monte officials said they did not want to follow South El Monte’s lead because aspects of Proposition 83, including the provision allowing local regulation over sex offenders, is still being challenged in court.

“If we went to that extreme,” Beres said, “it may make us more vulnerable to litigation.”

Proposition 83, commonly called Jessica’s Law, passed by more than 70percent of voters in 2006. It allows for cities to pass local ordinances that further restrict residency of sex offenders in a manner more restrictive that state law.

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