The Kyle City Council has passed the Child Safety Zones Ordinance, which will regulate sex offender residency within the city limits.
Approved this week, the Child Safety Zones Ordinance effectively amends current city code to make it unlawful for certain sex offenders to establish a permanent residence, establish a temporary residence, or to be a recurring visitor at a residence within 1,000 feet of areas where children commonly gather: schools, daycares, parks, etc. The ordinance also makes it unlawful for certain sex offenders to leave decorations or exterior porch lights on, or otherwise invite trick-or-treaters to their home on Halloween.
Those found to be in violation will be charged with a class C misdemeanor.
The change does include somewhat of a grandfather provision. The new ordinance will not apply to homeowners or those with a rental or lease agreement that went into effect before the ordinance’s passing, or to those that were required to register as a sex offender as a minor but were not convicted as an adult. Also, sex offender who is living in a medical facility, such as a hospital or inpatient care center, will be exempt.
“This ordinance wasn’t written to be punitive toward any part of our population, which is why we put in the work to refine and enhance it with an open ear for input from the community,” Kyle Chief of Police Jeff Barnett said. “The central purpose throughout the process of writing and passing the Child Safety Zones Ordinance has been how we as a community can more effectively protect our children. This ordinance is just another layer of protection we can add to help toward that overall goal.”
A map detailing the prohibited areas is available on the Kyle Police Department’s webpage at www.cityofkyle.com/police/child-safety-zones-ordinance. The new requirements will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis, the city says.