Sturgeon Bay Considering Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

The Sturgeon Bay City Council is expected to consider the first reading of an ordinance dealing with sexual offender residency restrictions during its meeting Tuesday evening. According to the executive summary, the basis for the ordinance is not to impose a criminal penalty, but to serve the city’s compelling interest in promoting, protecting and improving the health, safety and welfare of its citizens by creating areas around locations where children congregate in concentrated numbers. In those areas, certain sexual offenders and predators would be prohibited from loitering or prowling. The ordinance provides definitions, reasons why residency would be prohibited, exemptions, what constitutes loitering, the appeals process, and, penalties. A second reading is necessary before the ordinance becomes a part of the municipal code. Over 40 municipalities have approved similar ordinances, Manitowoc and Two Rivers being the closest.

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