Share this article

print logo

Restrictions planned for sex offenders

Elma officials are considering a law restricting where in the community sex offenders can live.

The law would ban Level 2 and 3 sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of youth-related locations, including schools, libraries, parks, camps, day care centers, youth clubs and athletic facilities.

At Wednesday's meeting, Town Board members directed Town Attorney Robert Pierce to draft the law, suggested by Councilman Dennis Powers. It is expected to be discussed at next Wednesday's board meeting.

Any Level 3 sex offender living within the buffer zones would have six months to find new housing.

The measure is modeled after similar legislation in other municipalities, where exclusion zones range from 1,320 feet in Lockport to 2,500 feet in Lackawanna. A public hearing would be held before the board acts on the proposal.

In another matter, board members discussed a limit on new construction in the town to control growth.

The town has averaged 43 permits a year for 10 years, officials said.

Councilman David Polak, who favors limiting construction to the current level, pointed to what he called bad examples of town planning, including the 160-unit Spring Brook Shores patio home development and the 29-lot Stoneridge Court subdivision, both on Rice Road.

He said he had campaigned on the issue of smart growth and remains intent on protecting the town from overbuilding.

"It's what the residents want," he added.

Councilman Dean Puleo said he sees no need for a limit, because the town's zoning laws control growth.

Supervisor Michael Nolan, meanwhile, noted that new construction dropped last year and that the town is not under pressure from developers. He also said he worries that more restrictions might price the children of current residents from living in the town.

"This town is just not for wealthy people," he said.

James Wyzykiewicz mirrored that concern, noting that lots in some subdivisions now sell for $180,000.

The board plans to hold another work session before deciding on a limit.

There are no comments - be the first to comment