Bristol taking steps to rescind sex offender law
Bristol is considering removing its sex offender ordinance from its books, a move that other communities around the state have taken in recent months.
The council is expected to vote on advertising a repeal of its ordinance at Monday’s meeting as advised by borough solicitor Bill Salerno.
Bristol’s consideration to do so comes from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s May ruling that Allegheny County’s prohibition on where registered sex offenders can live would isolate many in what would amount to “localized penal colonies.”
That decision spawned worries that municipalities with such ordinances could be exposed to liability in lawsuits.
There are 14 registered sex offenders living or working within the 1.9-square-mile town, according to the Pennsylvania Megan’s Law website. In Bucks County, there are 320 registered sex offenders — of those, 11 are incarcerated.
Most local ordinances, enacted a half-dozen years ago, have restricted convicted sex offenders from residing or living within 2,500 feet of any school, park, amusement park, skate park, roller rink, arcade, skating rink, athletic fields, movie theater, playground or child daycare facility.
In the county, Doylestown, Tullytown, Falls and Yardley have rescinded their local ordinance. Other municipalities such as Bensalem, Middletown, Newtown, Newtown Township and Upper Makefield have ordinances that are still in effect. Others, such as Wrightstown and Upper Southampton, never had such an ordinance in their law books.