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Sex offender buffer could be reduced in Lake Geneva

Sex offender buffer could be reduced in Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva sex offender registry map

A map from the Wisconsin Department of Correction’s sex offender registry indicates that 23 convicted sex offenders live within a three-mile radius of downtown Lake Geneva. (Contributed photo/Regional News)

Lake Geneva aldermen are considering reducing by half the distance that convicted sex offenders must live away from schools, parks and other places frequented by children.

The city currently prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of such “child safety zones.”

But the Lake Geneva City Council on Monday directed the city attorney to draft an updated ordinance that would reduce the residency buffer for sex offenders to 1,000 feet.

The action came after the city attorney cautioned aldermen that their 2,000-foot restriction was too excessive and could be successfully challenged in court.

Alderman Tim Dunn was the only council member to vote against relaxing the rule.

Dunn said the city should not take such action until it is challenged in court.

“It sounds like we’re flopping around like chickens being attacked by a weasel or something,” he said. “I don’t see why we need to change our ordinance until somebody sues us and until we lose and exhaust all the appeals.”

The council still must formally approve the new ordinance to be prepared by the city attorney.

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