GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – The Greeley City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to replace their current restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live in favor of new rules that reduce buffer zones.
Sex offenders will now be allowed to live closer to schools and public parks. The ordinance reduces the required buffer from 750 feet to 300 feet.
Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner and City Attorney Doug Marek suggested the change after an Englewood court battle found similar restrictions left sex offenders with practically nowhere to live.
Research shows stable housing reduces the chances of repeat offenses, and that there’s little connection between repeat offenses and how close sex offenders live to a school.
Approximately 260 registered sex offenders live in Greeley.
“The idea for the revision came from myself and the city attorney for precisely the reasons you have stated. First and foremost, to assist in our efforts to prevent sex offenders from re-offending by providing stable housing,” Garner said. “Numerous studies show that helps with rehabilitation. Second, to avoid, if possible, the situation that Englewood is going through.”
Marek told the Greeley Tribune the ordinance could soon be back before council members for modification.