Sex Offenders Banned from the Woodlands

Kent Canada, Attorney for Chapman Limited
Kent Canada, Attorney for Chapman Limited

Sex offenders are being banned from moving into a new development being built in northwest Amarillo. But as NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg explains they may already live across the street.

The newest section of The Woodlands is an 8,000 acre tract of land, that will one day have 30,000 homes on it. Homes that sex offenders are forbidden to live in, because of a new deed restriction. But we checked to see how many live in the same zip code and found ten. Two live near the development. Still, the developer, G.R. Chapman Limited Partnership, is happy to at least keep them outside his community.

"They honestly want it to be as safe as possible for people. When someone buys property the online database will be used to make sure people aren't buying property that are on the list," says Kent Canada, the attorney for Chapman Limited.

We spoke with one registered sex offender in Amarillo about the restriction. He says he's 'on the fence' about it.

"Personally if they don't want me there, I won't move in. I think it's nothing but a selling point, and it may backfire on them."

Although some attorneys question whether developers can enforce the restriction, Chapman Limited is confident it's not a problem.

"It's not discrimination along any protected class, and it's been in the courts in Iowa and New Jersey and it's been upheld," says Canada.

The restriction does not affect the 550 homes that are already built in the area. But every one that goes up from now on, the developer claims will be sex offender-free.