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Oklahoma City says sex offenders can't live in tents at trailer park

Hand Up Ministries in Oklahoma City was given 30 days to comply to a July 17 notice of violation of a zoning ordinance or face a $500 fine.
by Juliana Keeping Published: July 30, 2012

About 30 sex offenders living in tents in a south Oklahoma City trailer park will need to find new homes.

The men vacated trailers at Hand Up Ministries, 2130 SE 59, when a law that prohibits sex offenders from living together in manufactured homes took effect July 1.

That's when Hand Up founder, the Rev. David Nichols, moved some offenders to tents instead.

The Oklahoma City Development Services Department issued a notice of violation July 17 (this date corrected from a previous story) stating tents are not permitted on the property the way it is zoned. It gave the nonprofit 30 days to comply or face a $500 fine.

City spokeswoman Kristy Yager said Hand Up has the option to apply for a zoning variance, fight the notice in court or comply. If the organization doesn't comply, it could face citations and further fines.

“They've almost accomplished what they wanted to do, and that's shut me down,” Nichols said.

2011 statute

The statute approved by lawmakers in 2011 clarified an existing law designed to keep sex offenders from living together.

Nichols said the action was targeted at his trailer park.

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by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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