Local Development Bans Sex Offenders

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How would it feel to not have to lock your doors at night or worry about your kids when they're at the neighborhood playground?
One local developer is following a trend that he claims could help this happen, by prohibiting sex offenders from moving next door.

Creek Meadows Partners in College Station, will start construction on the Creek Meadows subdivision Monday.

Like others, it will be family oriented, but this subdivision is unique in one aspect.
In the subdivision's deed restrictions, sex offenders are prohibited to live in the community.

"We know we can't keep them all out," Todd Carnes a partner with Creek Meadows Partners said. "But, if we could put something in the deed restrictions to prevent or help deter that person from coming in to begin with, then that was an idea we thought we could do."

And according to local real estate attorney Cully Lipsey, the restrictions can be enforced.

"The Constitution prohibits discrimination based on race and the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination based on family status, race, national origin and some protective classes," Lipsey said. "But, registered sex offenders are not one of those protective classes."

The Creek Meadows subdivision will be located on Greens Prairie Road, just down the street from Forest Ridge Elementary.
The first homes should be completed by June.

"I thought it was a great idea because we have a family oriented community," Pat Baker, the managing partner with Creek Meadows Partners said. "Our marketing is going to be primarily to young families and it's something they're very conscious of."

The neighborhood association will be in charge of cross referencing addresses with the Texas Department of Public Safety's sex offender registry.
If a red flag pops up, that person will be prohibited from moving next door.

"We know that we are not going to catch and stop everybody and we're not guaranteeing that we're going to shut out every sex offender," Carnes said. "We're only as good as the laws that are on the books and we our only able to enforce those laws that are there."

Creek Meadows Partners did consult The Brazos County Probation Office.
Officials with the office warn not all sex offenders are required to register and the restriction does not prohibit traffic in and out of the neighborhood.

However, restricting sex offenders from developments is a marketing tool that's catching on.

According to USA Today, in 2006, Texas-based company, I&S Investment Group, broke ground on a 154-lot development in Kansas, that bars registered sex offenders.

USA Today writes the group sold out all 150 lots in its first such development in Lubbock in just 10 months.