WA County Wants To Restrict Where Sex Offenders Can Live

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The Pierce County Council wants to restrict where sex offenders can live.

The council Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution asking the lawmakers in Olympia to give local governments the power to impose rules that prohibit sex offenders from living near schools, parks and other places where children and other vulnerable people gather.

It’s a power that state lawmakers revoked in 2006 in an effort to develop statewide guidelines.

That effort has stalled, though, and now council members say it’s time to give that power back to local leaders.

In 2006, the Legislature approved a law preempting new local rules restricting where sex offenders can live. A state law that prohibits certain sex offenders from living within 880 feet of a school remains in effect.

The 2006 law required the Association of Washington Cities a nonprofit group that lobbies state officials on behalf of cities and towns, to agree on limits for sex offender housing that could be used by local governments statewide.

However, the association failed to arrive at a consensus and the state’s preemption of local governments remains in effect.