The Puyallup City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday night that bans two or more sex offenders or violent felons from living together in residential areas within the city limits.
Tuesday’s vote takes the city a step beyond a new state law that imposes similar limits on former inmates using state-issued rental vouchers.
The council’s action follows a 10-month, emotionally charged public process that sparked the effort at the state level.
The city’s ordinance prohibits two or more offenders from living together in any residential zone within city limits. It also requires the property owner of a “significant impact business” — specifically, shared housing, airports, fireworks plants or hazardous waste sites — to secure a permit and possibly comply with additional conditions, such as carrying insurance.
State Sen. Bruce Dammeier, the Puyallup Republican who sponsored the legislation to grant cities more input on halfway houses, said he was glad to see Puyallup wasn’t “letting the moss grow” after the new law was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last month.
That new law prevents two or more former inmates who use state-issued rental vouchers from sharing an apartment unless they’re renting a unit on an approved list. Also, the Department of Corrections must notify local jurisdictions when properties inside local boundaries are added to that list. Local officials can request removal of providers.
The city ordinance was a response to a plan last year by local property owner Larry Parson to open a shared living space for veterans near 23rd Avenue and Shaw Road — a venture he acknowledged could attract newly released prisoners, including sex offenders.
After outcry from neighbors, the City Council imposed and later extended a moratorium on halfway houses that would be occupied by two or more sex offenders or violent felons. The moratorium was set to expire in August.Kari Plog: 253-597-8682