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Pasco's San Antonio approves sweeping ban on sex offenders

SAN ANTONIO — City officials adopted an ordinance Tuesday night that effectively puts this east Pasco town off-limits to registered sex offenders.

The San Antonio City Commission unanimously approved a ban on sex offenders living within 1,500 feet of any school, day care center, public or private park, or bus stop — essentially the entire town. The ban applies to offenders who have been convicted of certain sexual crimes against children.

"It looks as if it's pretty much covered the whole town," resident Donna Swart told the Times last week. "I think it is a good protection for everybody."

Florida law bans certain sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of any school, day care center, park or playground. Many cities, such as New Port Richey, have enacted ordinances increasing that buffer. After Miami-Dade County made it 2,500 feet and added school bus stops — which are numerous and often moving as routes are changed — the restrictions left hardly any space for housing for registered offenders, forcing them to live under a bridge. The American Civil Liberties Union sued Miami-Dade, saying the county was "increasing the danger to society" as unstable living conditions led to higher rates of reoffending and running away.

Home to less than 1,000 people, San Antonio has one sex offender living within the city limits. He will not be affected by this ordinance because he moved to town before the measure was enacted.

Pasco's San Antonio approves sweeping ban on sex offenders 01/19/11 [Last modified: Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:24am]
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