[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford 3-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-7 (Ch. 180 of the 1992 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township Committee finds and declares that the health, safety and welfare of children will be enhanced by prohibiting registered sex offenders from residing or loitering within the Township of Cranford within 2,500 feet of any school, park, playground, recreation area, day-care facility or school bus stop located within the Township or adjacent municipalities.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Whether on foot or in a motor vehicle, a person who wanders or remains idle in essentially one location, sits, lounges, loafs, walks about aimlessly or repeatedly frequents the same location or repeatedly circles in a motor vehicle.
- PROHIBITED AREA
- The area within 2,500 feet from the real property upon which any school, park, playground, recreation area, day-care facility or school bus stop is located, whether within the Township or adjacent municipalities.
- PROHIBITED AREA MAP
- A map approved and adopted pursuant to this chapter depicting the prohibited area.
- REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER
- Any person over the age of 18 who is required to register pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:7-1 et seq., the New Jersey Sex Offender Registration and Notification Statute ("Megan's Law").
- SCHOOL BUS STOP
- Any area designated by the school district, by any receiving district or by any county jointure commission as a school bus stop where children regularly congregate for the purpose of boarding and debarking from a school bus.
The Prohibited Area Map prepared by the Township Engineer and adopted by the Township Committee by a resolution and as may be amended from time to time by resolution, depicting the locations and areas within the Township of property which comprise all schools, parks, playgrounds, recreation areas, day-care facilities and school bus stops, and all areas within 2,500 feet from such properties, shall be kept on file with the Township Clerk and shall serve as an official finding and record of the prohibited area.
A registered sex offender shall not reside or loiter within a prohibited area.
[Amended 10-10-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-37]
The following are exceptions to § 344-4:
Any person who is required to serve a sentence at a jail, prison, juvenile facility or other correctional institution or facility which is located within a prohibited area.
Any person who is both a record title owner and an occupant of a residence within the prohibited area as of the date of the adoption of this chapter, or a spouse or child of such record title owner and occupant.
Any person who established a residence in a prohibited area prior to the adoption of this chapter.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Cranford Police Department. The Chief of Police shall cause a copy of this chapter and the Prohibited Area Map to be provided to each registered sex offender who has registered under Megan's Law and who is residing within the Township.
It shall be no defense to prosecution for a violation of this chapter that the actor was unaware that the prohibited conduct occurred within a prohibited area, nor shall it be a defense to prosecution under this chapter that no juveniles were present within any prohibited area at the time of the offense. To the extent that a registered sex offender has not registered under Megan's Law, it shall not be a defense to prosecution under this chapter that the registered sex offender was not provided with a copy of this chapter or the Prohibited Area Map.
In a prosecution under this chapter, a true copy of the Prohibited Area Map shall, upon proper authentication, be admissible and shall constitute prima facie evidence of the location and boundaries of the prohibited area. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude the prosecution from introducing or relying upon any other evidence or testimony to establish any element of this offense; nor shall this section be construed to preclude the use or admissibility of any map or diagram other than one which has been approved by the Township Committee, provided that the map or diagram is otherwise admissible pursuant to the applicable rules of evidence.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction of a first offense, be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,250 and/or by imprisonment or community service not exceeding 90 days.
Any person who is convicted of violating this chapter within one year of the date of a previous violation of this chapter shall be sentenced to an additional fine of $1,250, which fine shall be calculated separately from the fine set forth in § 344-9 imposed for violation of this chapter.