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New Legislation Proposed to Prohibit Sex Offender Housing Near Adventureland

Suffolk County Legislator DuWayne Gregory introduced a bill to prohibit this housing in Farmingdale.

After a proposal to open sex offender housing in East Farmingdale was abandoned nearly one year ago, a local law permanently prohibiting this housing has been introduced in the Suffolk County Legislature.

"I had thought this issue was resolved but I am hearing disturbing whispers, once again, that have forced me to put forth this legislation," said Legis. DuWayne Gregory, D - Amityville, who is sponsoring the new bill.

Gregory's legislation - Bill IR 2234 - will establish a local law to restrict the residence of sex offenders near amusement parks. The bill was scheduled for a public hearing on Dec. 21 but was recessed until the next session.

The proposal last year called for the opening a shelter for homeless sex offenders in a converted warehouse in Farmingdale in the direct vicinity of .

The proposal came last December after Suffolk County decided to close two trailer housing sites for sex offenders on eastern Long Island. The County ultimately decided to follow Nassau County's model, which provides vouchers for the offenders to choose their residency instead of building a permanent residence, after strong opposition from the Farmingdale community.

"The community is up in arms," Nassau Legislator Joseph Belesi told the press last year. "There's , and , places young people gather."

After the proposal was scrapped, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy called urged the state not to release sex offenders from prison without having permanent addresses for these individuals to help this problem.

Social Services Commissioner Gregory Blass explained that the county is operating under a state mandate to house the homeless, regardless of their criminal history and that it is a struggle to find a community not violently opposed to the proposition.

"Ironically, it was the actions of state Legislature that allowed these sex offenders to be released back onto our streets," Levy said. "That is the cause of this problem."

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