Jackson County may soon close a loophole that, under the wording of state law, allows sex offenders from other states to take up residence anywhere here, including places near schools and other areas where children congregate and from which in-state offenders are already prohibited from living.

Several communities have passed local ordinances that prohibit out-of-staters from doing so as well. Jackson County Commissioners are set to have a public hearing on such an ordinance here, one proposed by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. The hearing is scheduled for April 9 at 9:15 a.m., a quarter-hour after the board starts its regular 2nd Tuesday meeting.

The proposed ordinance would also more than double the distance barrier that must be kept between the residences of all sex offenders and those areas where children congregate. Instead of staying 1,000 feet away, they would have to live at least 2,500 feet from the protected areas, which include schools, parks, school bus stops, day care centers, playgrounds and other child-oriented locations.

If passed, the proposed ordinance would not affect any out-of-state offenders who took up residence here before the new rule takes effect.

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