[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Owego as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 8-18-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014]
This article shall be known as the "Sex Offender Residency Restrictions Law."
This article is hereby adopted and enacted pursuant to § 10 of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law, which enables local governments to adopt local laws relating to their property, affairs, or government, so long as the local laws are not inconsistent with the New York Constitution or any general law of New York State. The New York Municipal Home Rule Law also authorizes local governments to adopt local laws regulating the protection, order, conduct, safety, health and well-being of persons within the local municipality. This article is also adopted and enacted pursuant to § 4-412 of the New York State Village Law and Article IX of the New York State Constitution. It is the intent of the Village of Owego to adopt a law which is consistent with the Constitution and laws of the State of New York, as well as the Constitution of the United States.
The Village Board finds that Level Two and Level Three sex offenders pose a significant threat to the health and safety of the community, especially children whose age and inexperience make them particularly vulnerable. In order to safeguard and protect the health, safety and welfare of the children of the Village of Owego, it is hereby declared that the residence of certain convicted sex offenders must be restricted to help minimize the possibility of contact between such sex offenders and the children of the Village of Owego.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CHILD DAY CARE CENTER
- Any licensed establishment 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, whether public, private or parochial, 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 article, 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.
- COMMUNITY CENTER
- A building, including attached structures and grounds, open to the public that is established and primarily used as a gathering place for a variety of social, educational enrichment, and community service activities, including, but not limited to, domestic violence shelters.
- LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDER
- A person who is designated as a Level Three sex offender pursuant to Subdivision 6 of § 168-1 of the New York State Correction Law.
- LEVEL TWO SEX OFFENDER
- A person who is designated as a Level Two sex offender pursuant to Subdivision 6 of § 168-1 of the New York State Correction Law.
- A structure and associated grounds, whether publically or privately owned, which is primarily used for the keeping of literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials, such as books, manuscripts, recordings, computers, or films, for use, but not for sale.
- Any active and passive public land designated for recreational or athletic activities by the Village of Owego, County of Tioga, State of New York, the United States of America or other governmental subdivision, and located within the Village of Owego.
- PLACE OF WORSHIP
- A room, set of rooms, or building established and primarily used by a congregation, society, or other assemblage of persons who are accustomed to statedly meet for divine worship or other religious observances.
- An improved area designed, equipped, and set aside for play of six or more children which is not intended for use as an athletic playing field or athletic court, and shall include any play equipment, surfacing, fencing, internal pathways, internal land forms, vegetation, and related structures, but shall not include playgrounds or playground equipment constructed upon one-, two- and three-family residential real property.
- A place where a person regularly sleeps, which may include more than one location, and may be mobile or transitory.
- 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.
It shall be unlawful for any Level Two sex offender or Level Three sex offender to establish residency in the Village of Owego within 1,000 feet of the property line of any child day-care center, community center, library, place of worship, park, playground or school.
It shall be unlawful for any property owner, or person, corporation, organization or other entity in charge of property, to knowingly or recklessly rent, lease, or sublease property for residency to a Level Two sex offender of Level Three sex offender, or otherwise permit or allow such Level Two sex offender or Level Three sex offender to establish residency at his or her property, if the property is in the Village of Owego and within 1,000 feet of the property line of any child day-care center, community center, library, place of worship, park, playground or school. For purposes of this subsection, renting, leasing or subleasing property, or otherwise allowing residency, to a Level Two sex offender or, Level Three sex offender who is on the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Public Registry of Sex Offenders shall constitute a rebuttable presumption of knowing or reckless conduct.
The residency restrictions set forth in § 167-5 of this article shall not apply to Level Two sex offenders and Level Three sex offenders who have established residency prior to the effective date of this article.
The residency restrictions set forth in § 167-5 of this article shall not apply if the child day-care center, community center, library, place of worship, park, playground or school is newly located and the Level Two sex offender or Level Three sex offender has already established residency which would, by virtue of the location of the new facility, be prohibited by this article.
Notwithstanding Subsections A and B of this section, the renewal or extension of any lease, sublease or other contract, or the purchase of previously rented property, shall be considered the establishment of a new residency, and the exemptions set forth in those subsections shall not apply. Upon said establishment of new residency, the Chief of Police shall provide written notice to the Level Two sex offender or Level Three sex offender, and to the property owner, to permanently discontinue said residency within 30 days. The notice shall be mailed, by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail. Proof that the Level Two sex offender or Level Three sex offender has permanently discontinued said residency shall be submitted by the Level Two sex offender or Level Three sex offender, and by the property owner, to the Chief of Police within 60 days of said notice.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine of not less than $250 or imprisonment for a period of 15 days, or both. Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
In addition to the penalties set forth in Subsection A, the Village may also maintain an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with, or restrain by injunction, any violation of the provisions of this article.
Village police officers, or any legally authorized representative(s) of the Village, as well as any federal, state or county law enforcement officer, are authorized to enforce this article and are authorized to issue appearance tickets for violations of the same.