Sex offender residency restrictions being scaled back in several Colorado cities

Commerce City voting on ordinance Monday night

DENVER - Less than 10 years after many cities rushed to draw restrictions and boundaries on where registered sex offenders could live, the trend is now reversing after a court case ruled one city's restrictions in conflict of state interests.

A 2006 Englewood city ordinance stated that sex offenders convicted of a felony had to be at least 2,000 feet away from schools, parks and playgrounds and at least 1,000 feet away from any day care, recreation center or public swimming pool.

In the city of almost 7 square miles, that made 99 percent of the city's residences off limits.

In August, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson stated that restrictive "not in my backyard ordinances" can have a domino effect, eventually forbidding any sex offenders from living anywhere in Colorado.

Hoping to avoid a similar lawsuit, Greeley changed its rules in February to scale back on some restrictions.

On Monday, Commerce City has a second-reading vote to approve a new ordinance.

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