Kyle approves child safety zones to restrict sex offender residency within city

Kyle City Council approved child safety zones during its May 4 meeting. (Courtesy city of Kyle)
Kyle City Council approved child safety zones during its May 4 meeting. (Courtesy city of Kyle)

Kyle City Council approved child safety zones during its May 4 meeting. (Courtesy city of Kyle)

After several months of discussion and amending guidelines, the city of Kyle has approved implementation of child safety zones that would restrict where registered sex offenders may reside.

Following an April 20 discussion from City Council on the best distance requirement for sex offenders living in Kyle, officials voted to set the distance requirement at 1,000 feet.

Because the distance requirement was not unanimous and passed 6-1 April 20 with Mayor Travis Mitchell voting no, the ordinance came back for a second reading at council's May 4 meeting, where it passed through the consent agenda.

The original ordinance, which city documents state was mirrored from similar drafts in Cedar Park and Pflugerville and was first discussed in Kyle Feb. 2, defined places within the city where children commonly gather, such as parks, and specifies that sex offenders cannot, by law, live permanently or temporarily within 1,500 feet of any defined common gathering area for children.

City officials noted during discussion of the ordinance in February that based on its definition of common areas where children gather, residency within 95% of Kyle would be off limits for registered sex offenders.

Kyle Chief of Police Jeff Barnett estimated that a 1,000-foot buffer around child safety zones covers about 60%-70% of the city.

An April 1 memo from KPD Officer Dago Pates to Barnett states there are 65 registered sex offenders in Kyle, and the proposed ordinance would not apply to homeowners or renters who currently reside in the city.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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