[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Riverhead 3-2-2010 by L.L. No. 5-2010 (Ch. 111, Art. I, of the 1976 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board finds that sex offenders pose a significant threat to the health and safety of the community and especially to children, whose age and inexperience make them particularly vulnerable to the heinous and reprehensible acts of these offenders.
The Board finds that the rate of recidivism is high, and programs designed to treat and rehabilitate these types of offenders have been largely ineffective. Limiting the frequency of contact between registered sex offenders, sex offenders, and/or sexual predators and areas where children are likely to congregate reduces the opportunity and temptation and can minimize the risk of repeated acts against minors.
It is the intention of the Town Board to exercise its authority pursuant to Article IX, § 2(c)(i) and (ii)(10), of the New York State Constitution, § 10, Subdivision 1(ii)a(12) and d(3), of the Municipal Home Rule Law, § 64, Subdivision 22, and § 130, Subdivisions 11 and 15, of the Town Law, and any other applicable or successor law, presently in existence or hereinafter enacted, to protect and safeguard the lives and well-being of the community, and especially children, from registered sexual predators while children are in close proximity to schools, day-care centers, day camps, parks and playgrounds.
After careful consideration, the Town Board finds that this legislation is the most narrowly tailored means of limiting, to the fullest extent possible, the opportunity for registered sex offenders to approach or otherwise come in contact with children in places where children would naturally congregate and that the protection of our residents is a compelling governmental interest.
By the enactment of this or any other legislation, the Town Board understands that it cannot remove the threat posed to or guarantee the safety of minors, or assure the public that registered sex offenders will comply with the mandates of this statute. This legislation is intended to create a civil, nonpunitive regulatory scheme in order to protect minors to the extent possible under the circumstances and not as a punitive measure of any kind.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHILD DAY-CARE CENTERS
- Any licensed establishment, whether public, private or parochial, where a child or children are cared for on a regular basis and such service is provided away from the child's residence for less than 24 hours per day by someone other than the parent, step-parent, guardian, or a relative of the child, and whether or not such service is provided for compensation of any kind. Day-care centers shall include licensed after-school programs and day-care programs. For the purpose of this chapter, the term "child day-care center" shall not apply to services provided in a private dwelling, unless such dwelling is duly licensed by the appropriate agency to provide such service.
- CHILD or CHILDREN
- Persons under 18 years of age.
- Persons under 18 years of age.
- Includes active and passive public land designated for recreational or athletic use by the Town of Riverhead, County of Suffolk, State of New York, the United States of America or other governmental subdivision and located within the Town of Riverhead. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "park" shall include beaches.
- Public land designated for recreational or athletic purposes by any school district, library district, Town of Riverhead, County of Suffolk, State of New York, the United States of America or other governmental subdivision and located within the Town of Riverhead.
- REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER
- A sex offender who is required to register with the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, or other agency having jurisdiction, pursuant to the provisions of Article 6-C of the Correction Law of the State of New York or other applicable or successor law, whether or not the sex offender has actually registered in compliance with the law or order of a court of competent jurisdiction. For the purpose of this chapter, a registered sex offender shall not include level one offenders as set forth in § 168-l, Subdivision 6(a), of the Correction Law or successor law.
- A place where a person sleeps, which may include more than one location and may be mobile or transitory.
- Includes any portion of private or public land, buildings or structures utilized primarily for public or private education, as defined by the New York State Department of Education and/or the New York State Education Law, and includes, but is not limited to, preschools, kindergartens and nursery schools, elementary, primary, intermediate, junior high, middle and secondary schools, high schools, vocational schools and special education schools. For the purposes of this chapter, the term "school" shall include child day-care centers and shall exclude vocational and special education schools that provide services to those over 18 years of age.
- SEX OFFENDER or SEXUAL PREDATOR
- Any person who is a resident of the Town of Riverhead and has been convicted of an offense provided in § 168-a, Subdivisions 1, 2 and 3, of the New York State Correction Law or any successor or applicable law where the victim was a minor, except level one offenders as set forth in § 168-l, Subdivision 6(a), of the Correction Law or successor law. The use of one term shall be deemed to include the other.
It shall be unlawful for a sex offender and/or sexual predator or a registered sex offender to establish a residence or domicile or for a property owner, managing agent, house manager, corporation, or person in charge of the premises to permit a sex offender and/or sexual predator or registered sex offender to establish a residence or domicile within the limits set forth below:
Within 1/4 mile (1,320 feet) of the property line of any land utilized, in whole or in part, as a school, child day-care center, library, or day camp; and
Within 1/4 mile (1,320 feet) of the property line of any land utilized, in whole or in part, as a park, beach or playground.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a registered sex offender, being and intended to include a registered sexual predator, under the following circumstances:
If the registered sex offender has established a residence or domicile before October 31, 2005;
If the registered sex offender has established a residence or domicile before the effective date of this chapter, on property having its closest lot line within 1,001 feet of property used as a school, child day-care center or day camp; or
If the registered sex offender has established a residence or domicile before the effective date of this chapter, on property having its closest lot line within 501 feet and 1/4 mile (1,320 feet) of property used as a park, beach, or playground.
The Director of Planning shall file a map showing the areas prohibited by this chapter where sex offenders cannot establish a residence or be domiciled, and such map may be updated and filed with the Riverhead Town Clerk every 30 days.
In the event the registered sex offender fails, refuses and/or neglects to relocate or otherwise does not cease using the location as his/her place of residence or domicile upon expiration of a written notice, then he/she shall be deemed to have committed an offense against the provisions of this chapter and shall be liable for such violation and the penalty therefor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of $2,500 per offense. Each week, or part thereof, such violation continues following notification by the Town or service of a notice of violation or summons shall constitute a separate offense, punishable in like manner.
A property owner or person in charge of property who violates the provisions of § 267-3 shall be deemed to have committed an offense against this chapter and shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine or penalty of $2,500 for a conviction of a first offense. Upon the occurrence of a second or subsequent offense, the property owner or person in charge of property shall be deemed to have committed a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine or penalty of $2,500 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each week, or part thereof, such violation continues following notification by the Town shall constitute a separate offense, punishable in like manner.