On November 8, 2011, Huntington Beach City Council approved an ordinance that bans all sex offenders from city parks. There are no exceptions for sex offenders that have committed non-violent crimes or sex offenders that have children of their own or sex offenders who are not listed on California’s Megan’s Law website. The ordinance now makes it a misdemeanor for sex offenders to visit these parks. Several other cities in Orange County, including Orange, Tustin, Fullerton, La Habra, Westminster and Los Alamitos, have similar ordinances affecting sex offenders. In April 2011, The Orange County Board of Supervisors banned sex offenders from county parks, beaches and harbors. The Orange County District Attorney’s office is now on a mission to convince each city in Orange County to adopt similar bans. As more and more cities adopt bans, the argument to convince the remaining cities to adopt bans becomes easier — no city wants to become a haven for sex offenders that move out of other cities. Nevertheless, Irvine resisted the Orange County District Attorney’s push for a complete ban and adopted a limited ban. Here is a list of the cities and a description of their bans:
Irvine’s limited ban on sex offenders only prevents those sex offenders who had victimized children from visiting their parks.
Tustin City Council passed a sex offender residency ban on January 4, 2011, preventing registered sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of a school, day care center or park. These restrictions apply to those living in hotels or motels. Only about two square miles of the city is unaffected. The city also restricts registered sex offenders from loitering within 300 feet of the property line of a day care center, school, school bus stop, park, youth center or other business that provides services to children. Unless they are married or related, two or more registered can’t live in the same multi-family complex or home. It is misdemeanor for an apartment manager or hotel manager to knowingly allow two or more unrelated sex offenders to live in a home. See the Tustin Sex Offender Map showing the locations of residential exclusions and child safety zones. Furthermore, registered sex offenders within Tustin are now barred from living in the same multi-family complex or home, unless they are married or related. If an apartment manager or hotel manager knowingly allows more than one registered sex offender in a home, they can be charged with a misdemeanor.
Effective September 19, 2011, the City of La Habra established city parks as child safety zones and prohibited sex offenders from visiting city parks without written permission of the La Habra Police Department. This ban applies to anyone required to register as a sex offender pursuant to Penal Code section 290. A sex offender who violates this ban is guilty of a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of six months. There is no minimum punishment on a first offense, but there is a 10-day jail time minimum for a second offense and a 90-day jail time minimum for a third offense.
Effective November 7, 2011, Los Alamitos passed an ordinance banning registered sex offenders from parks or playgrounds where children gather.
Fullerton prohibits registered sex offenders from loitering within 300 feet of parks, schools or daycare centers.
As of 2011, the City of Orange bars certain registered sex offenders (those with convictions involving minor children) from participating in Halloween. These registered sex offenders cannot answer the door for children that trick or treating. They must a post a sign outside their residence that no candy or treats are available on Halloween. The sex offenders must leave off all exterior lights on their residence during the Halloween evening. Sex offenders are prevented from decorating their residences with Halloween decorations. This Halloween sex offender ban is the first of its kind in Orange County, although other cities in the United States have adopted similar ordinances. Any specified sex offender who violates the law is guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable in the county jail for up to one year.