Stark County HOA bans Tier III sex offenders from living in their neighborhood

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 8:31 PM EDT
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STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - A few years back a registered sex offender moved into Avondale, a quiet, upscale neighborhood in Stark County.

The homeowner’s association wanted them out.

Tony DeGirolamo, the Avondale HOA president, said they passed a bylaw that bans Tier III sex offenders, the most serious classification, from living or owning property within their community.

“What type of offender is this provision going to swoop up? The answer is the worst of the worst,” DeGirolamo said.

Ohio law states that Tier III offenders must notify authorities where they are living every 90 days for the rest of their lives and cannot live within 1,000 feet of a school.

“They’re not breaking the law, they’re violating our deed restrictions for which the homeowners association is responsible to enforce,” DeGirolamo said.

DeGirolamo explained how the HOA will enforce it, even if a sex offender is not breaking a law.

“Enforcement starts with a letter. It starts with a letter from our management company telling them they are violating the deed restrictions asking them to stop,” DeGirolamo said. “Which would mean selling their property or moving out. If they don’t follow those instructions, then we have to go to court.”

DeGirolamo said the community has not had any recent problems with sex offenders. With this new deed, they hope it stays that way.