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New York

NY: TOWN ADOPTS HOTEL/MOTEL, SPECIAL EVENTS LAWS

New law sets limit on number of registered sex offenders who can stay at a hotel or motel

HERKIMER — The Herkimer town board adopted a pair of local laws Monday — one dealing with hotels and motels and the other with special events.

The local law requiring the licensing of hotels and motels in the town of Herkimer was adopted in response to residents’ complaints about the Glen Ridge Motel on state Route 5 and was based on local laws adopted by the town of Brighton, near Rochester, and the town of Colonie to deal with similar problems.

The new law sets a limit on the number of registered sex offenders who can stay at a hotel or motel at one time, based on a point system.

Town Attorney Christopher Bray explained that a registered Level 1 sex offender is assigned one point, a Level 2 offender is assigned two points, a Level 3 offender three points, etc. Under the new law, a hotel or motel with a capacity of fewer than 50 people is limited to four points.

Bray said he discussed the point system with the Colonie town attorney, asking if that town’s system had ever been challenged in court. He was told the law had been successful in limiting the number of sex offenders and there had been no challenges to the system. The number of sex offenders had become a major problem in Colonie, he said, because nearby cities and communities had been sending them to hotels and motels in that town. That also meant the town was not attracting better hotels that might consider locating there.

A public hearing on the law was conducted last month, but drew no comments. read more

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