Federal Way OKs 6-month moratorium on new group homes for sex offenders

FEDERAL WAY -- The Federal Way City Council passed a six-month moratorium Tuesday night on new group homes for sex offenders.

In June, the city shut down a home with more than seven registered sex offenders that was operating in a single-family residential neighborhood in north Federal Way.  According to Mayor Skip Priest's office, the city’s enforcement action was based on several building code violations.

Without  new ordinances, Priest said in a news release, that home could potentially reopen as sex offender housing if they repair the violations.

He proposed a six-month moratorium and emergency business measures. Both measures were approved.

During the moratorium, Priest said, the city will prepare a Community Impact Statement, identifying  the density of sex offender housing in the community and specific neighborhoods, and potential impacts to schools, day cares, elder care and other vulnerable groups. The city will determine appropriate zones for sex offender group homes and develop an inspection program to ensure compliance with city codes.

The city currently has only three locations with two registered sex offenders living in a residence. With the June closure of the group home, there are currently no sex offender group homes with more than two offenders in residence.