David Allyn Dokich - Serial Child Rapist / High Risk Sex Offender

Monday, November 07, 2005

Pomona may limit sex offender homes

POMONA - An ordinance giving the city control of where homes housing sex offenders and violent offenders can be established is expected to be proposed tonight by Councilwoman Norma Torres.

Torres said she would like the proposal, set to be introduced at tonight's City Council meeting, to be considered by the council in early December.

The ordinance Torres seeks would limit the number of sex offenders and violent parolees who can live in homes based on where the homes are located. Torres is pushing to find a way to give the city a say in where such facilities open.

She's been working with a group of residents of Douglass Drive, an area north of the 10 Freeway and west of Ganesha Park, in addressing a sober living house that opened there recently. The house is occupied by parolees including some registered sex offenders.

The facility's presence has sparked picketing and an effort to raise awareness in other city residents to the issue.

Cities such as Fontana have found a way to address the presence of parolees in general.

In November 2002 Fontana adopted an ordinance regulating parolee housing.

The ordinance was in response to community concerns presented to City Council members, said City Manager Ken Hunt.

The city had a number of such facilities that presented some concerns and that the city was trying to address, Hunt said.

Under the ordinance, the city can exert some controls for facilities that aren't licensed by the state, said Capt. Terry Holderness of the Police Department.

"If they don't have a state license, we look at it as running a business," Holderness said.

Such facilities must then have a city business license, and they must apply for a conditional-use permit, he said.

By requiring a conditional-use permit, the city could set conditions that operators of such facilities must comply with in order to open and continue operating, Hunt said.

If the conditions are not met, then city representatives have an avenue to close the facilities, he said.

The ordinance includes limiting where such facilities can open. It also limits the number of parolees who can occupy a house and the number that can live in multifamily developments.

Fontana's approach is one that doesn't focus on any one particular group, Cohen said. The ordinance is broad and addresses parolees as a whole.

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It does makes you wonder what Riverside County is waiting for.

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