Will this ever end?
Residents of a gated community in southwest Orange County are voting on whether to prevent registered sex offenders from living there — a move that attorneys are calling highly unusual.
The new homeowners-association rule would bar offenders from living in Keene's Pointe, a community of about 1,000 single-family homes just south of Windermere.(...)
The proposed rule would prevent a sex offender from living within 2,500 feet of a playground or a school bus stop — limits that would keep offenders out of the entire community. The rule would not keep offenders from owning property in Keene's Pointe, however. It would not be retroactive and would apply only to future property transactions.
The new rule would be "very rare" for homeowner associations, said Tara Lyn Barrett, who specializes in community association law for the Orlando firm Brown, Garganese, Weiss & D'Agresta.
In most cases, residency rules for sex offenders are "regulated enough by state and local ordinances," Barrett said. "We represent about 60 associations, and not one of our convenants says anything in regard to that."
Blackwell said the idea came about when residents discovered that a sex offender was living in the community, even though no incidents took place.
"There are a lot of children in Keene's Pointe — a lot of playgrounds and bus stops," he said.(...)
A Third District Court of Appeal ruling in May 2010 found that a Miami-Dade County ordinance prohibiting offenders from living within 2,500 feet of a school was "not invalidated by Florida law and therefore remains in full force and effect."
"The Legislature has not clearly pre-empted local regulation of the field of the post-conviction conduct of sexual predators," the ruling stated.
Results of the vote are expected November 17.
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