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Oak Ridge North updates sex offender residency ordinance, approves next step in Robinson Road realignment

January 30, 2019

The Oak Ridge North City Council on Monday made moves to bring the city up to date with Texas laws about sex offender residency and moved toward a future with less traffic congestion.

After brief discussion, the council unanimously approved an updated sex offender residency requirement, derived from state law, that prohibits a registered sex offender from living within 1,000 feet of any place where a child would gather — including parks, schools and public pools.

Shenandoah passed the same ordinance in October — the two general law cities are subject to state law and Texas House Bill 1111, introduced by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson in the 85th Texas Legislature, gave cities the ability to more specifically control the locations of where convicted and registered sex offenders live inside city limits, up to and including a maximum 1,000-foot restriction.

Oak Ridge North City Manager Richard Derr said the change wasn’t triggered by any one situation, but was a proactive move in the event any convicted sex offender try to move into the city in the future. The original law, passed in May 2015, established a 300-foot restriction from public gathering place where children might convene.

“The police department was concerned we get it in place and get it updated,” Derr said.

According to a state database, only one sex offender currently lives within the city limits of Oak Ridge North. The man, who is not being identified by The Villager, was convicted of sexual assault of a child in 2006. He will be grandfathered into the new law, Derr said.

In other business, work on the Robinson Road project was discussed at the meeting, with the council approving a $210,000 payment to RPS/Klotz for engineering and production of a 95 percent complete drawing of the proposed four-lane road from Patsy Lane to the railroad tracks and work on right-of-way acquisition. The 100 percent complete drawing is expected in February.

“We don’t want to move ahead with a contract until we have the right-of-ways,” Derr said.

mrincon@chron.com

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