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Farmington sets residency restrictions for Level 3 sex offenders

Farmington is the latest Dakota County city to limit where Level 3 sex offenders can live.

An ordinance approved by the city council June 6 restricts Level 3 sex offenders from living within 1,500 feet of a school, park, playground, church, licensed child care facility or sex-oriented business (which the city does not have).

No such offenders live in Farmington now.

In Minnesota, sex offenders are issued a number when they leave prison, and Level 3 is considered the highest at risk to reoffend.

In October, South St. Paul became the first Dakota County city to create zones where convicted sexual offenders cannot live. Since then, Apple Valley, West St. Paul and Rosemount passed similar ordinances, and Hastings is considering residency restrictions as well.

Across Minnesota, at least 40 cities have sex-offender ordinances in place.

Since 1991, all felony-level sex offenders in Minnesota have been required to register their home address with local law enforcement in accordance with state law. In addition, the Legislature passed the Community Notification Act in 1996, charging local law enforcement with informing the public about sex offenders living in their community.