, Port Arthur, Texas

September 9, 2013

Ned weighs change to sex offender ordinance

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

NEDERLAND — The City of Nederland is looking at some changes to its ordinance regarding sex offenders’ residency.

The possible changes could also mean additional peace of mind for parents during Halloween.

Council will consider amending its ordinance relating to the definitions  and restrictions on registered sex offenders’ residency during a meeting at 4:30 p.m. Monday at city hall, 1400 Boston Ave.

The changes, if approved, will prohibit registered sex offenders from residing within 1,000 feet of premises where children commonly gather. The previous ordinance only covered three types of areas; schools, day cares and parks. The new ordinance will include studios or facilities for instruction in the arts or sports, where classes are taught to four or more children, private recreational facility parks which include public pools, playgrounds or youth athletic fields.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque said he researched other cities as well as contacting other cities and researching various articles on other cities who implemented a similar ordinance.

For those who are already living in the city and complying with the existing ordinance, the new restrictions will not apply to them since they are already complying.

“This was on our radar as a way to better protect the children of our community,” Duque said. “And we think this amendment will do just that.”

Another part of the ordinance addressees an upcoming holiday — Halloween.

Registered sex offenders in the city will be required to post “proper signage” at their residence between 4 and 11 p.m. Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. The signage will be maintained and issued by the city’s police department and will read, “sexual offender residence,” according to a copy of the amendment provided by the city.

Other agenda items for Monday’s meeting include:

• Consider action closing city hall on Friday, Sept. 13 and Friday, Sept. 20

• Consider action approving the exchange, sale and/or transfer to the Sabine Neches Navigation District for the purposes of economic development, a 151,675 acre tract of land.

• Consider action setting the tax rate for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2013 and ending Sept. 30, 2014.


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