BOULDER, Colo. -- The Boulder City Council voted 7-2 on Tuesday night to direct the city attorney to draft an ordinance limiting where sexually violent predators can reside.
The ordinance will be reviewed at a public hearing in August.
“I told you that our community is living in fear and we still are,” Jacky Jones told the council.
Residents voiced their concern in front of the council after Christopher Edward Lawyer, a registered sexual predator and convicted rapist, was allowed to live in a north Boulder homeless shelter a month after being released from prison.
“Some parents are driving their daughters to school now because they are afraid to let them take the bus the same time the sexual predator leaves the shelter,” Patricia DeAngelis Ratner told council members.
Organizations such as the ACLU argue that ordinances or laws that are directed at a particular person are unconstitutional.
But residents in the north Boulder area are pleading for protection.
Jones started a petition to end the admittance of sexually violent predators into the homeless shelter. More than 1,100 residents have signed it, saying the once-underdeveloped north Boulder neighborhood has changed and so should the shelter’s policy.
“We would love the shelter’s policy to reflect what the community is now,” Jones said. “We can’t just have criminals coming straight out of prison without the rehabilitation planted right in the center of where all of these young families are trying to have a great life.”
Residents will meet with the homeless shelter management on June 20 to ask for an update to its policies.