Monday, August 21, 2006

City Council Wants Pedophile-Free Zones

The City Council aims to ban pedophiles from loitering on foot or in cars near 88 schools, playgrounds, parks and day care centers.

An ordinance up for consideration at toniught's agenda session would keep known sex offenders 2,500 feet from those places and from school bus stops. The only exception would be an owner/resident of a city property. Fines for violations would range from $100 to $1,250 and/or imprisonment and community service. Subsequent violations would result in a $1,500 fine and 90 days of community service.

According to a State Police registry of sex offenders, about 34 live in the city and several more are in custody or at large.

The proposed legislation is sponsored by Councilmen Rashid Burney and Don Davis and Councilwoman Linda Carter. It would have to pass on two readings with a public hearing before final passage and would take effect 90 days after enactment.

Redevelopment matters will also be up for discussion tonight (Monday, Aug. 21, 2006).

The council will talk about three proposals where the Union County Improvement Authority would be involved. They are the new senior center on East Front Street, where Dornoch Holdings wants to build a ground floor center with three stories of market-rate condos above; the Marino's tract on West Front Street, where AST Development Corp. may receive conditional designation as the developer; and the North Avenue historic district by the main train station, where the city is recommending Landmark Development Corp. to the UCIA for designation as developer.

The meeting is 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave.

--Bernice Paglia


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