SANATOGA PA – A proposed law that would limit where registered adult sex offenders can live within the confines of Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township has been officially advertised as the subject of a Jan. 22 (2009) public hearing to be conducted by the township Board of Commissioners at 7 p.m. in the municipal building, 2199 Buchert Rd.
Commissioners have discussed such a law since last August, when township residents publicly expressed concern about an offender who they learned lived in their neighborhood. Board Vice President Jonathan Spadt in December indicated the proposal would be formally introduced at the start of the new year.
In its notice, the township contends “Sexual Offenders pose a high risk of engaging in further offenses after incarceration and release into (the) community, which affects the general safety, welfare, and best interests of the public.” It also notes the state “has no laws which adequately prohibit or restrict Sexual Offenders from residing or living near areas where children regularly meet or congregate.”
Based solely on the list of definitions advertised as part of the proposed law, it appears the township will attempt to restrict sex offenders from living within a specific distance of a child care facility, open space, community center, or public park or recreational facility. The distance itself is not identified in the legal notice.
Spadt, during the board’s Jan. 5 (2009) meeting, asked township Solicitor R. Kurtz Holloway if, later this month, commissioners could consider a motion to advertise the ordinance. “Why not do it now?” Holloway responded, to Spadt’s obvious surprise. The commissioner recovered quickly and made the appropriate motion, which the board unanimously approved.
“Well, that was kind of fast, wasn’t it?,” Spadt said with a smile.
Editor’s addendum, Jan. 14, 2009:
The Bucks County (PA) borough of Perkasie has begun similar discussions about enacting sex offender residency rules there, according to The (Lansdale PA) Reporter newspaper.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Jan. 5 meeting):
- She’s Changing Careers, Not Job Descriptions
- Township, Sunnybrook At Odds Over Grant
- Library’s Funding On Its Way
- Commissioners Schedule First Monthly Meeting
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