Effective immediately, the City of Gainesville has rolled back it’s sex offender residency restriction to fall inline with the State’s law. The change, which reduces the exclusion zone from 2500 feet to 1000 feet, was unanimously voted in favor of by the City Commission, who did the right thing when faced with a lawsuit brought by a registrant who was unable to live with his wife because their home was inside an exclusion zone.
For years, they lived apart, but when his health began to deteriorate and he could no longer live alone, the couple had enough and fought to live together so he could receive necessary care. The lawsuit was necessitated after their requests for an exemption to the ordinance were denied.
Here is a situation where the City Commission did the right thing. Hopefully other cities will follow. Congrats to the couple and the paralegal who assisted them. Congrats to all who posted comments online in support of the change (notably, nobody posted public comments in opposition). Congrats to the registrants in Gainesville who now have more housing options than they did this morning.