Archive for Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Supreme Court to hear area case

County hopes to bar predator

February 22, 2006

Leavenworth County's challenge of an attempt to house a violent sexual predator near Linwood will be heard next month by the Kansas Supreme Court.

Oral arguments are set for March 14.

David Van Parys, county counselor, will argue that plans for a group home for sexual offenders violated county zoning laws.

Last summer, the county challenged a Lawrence couple's plan to establish the group home at 24130 Golden Road, west of Linwood.

Rick and Linda Whitson had moved one predator -- LeRoy Hendricks -- into the house and planned to have others join him.

The state was to pay the Whitsons $278,000 to house and guard Hendricks for 15 months.

When county commissioners caught wind of the Whitsons' plans, the officials went to court.

The county won a round at the Leavenworth County District Court level in August.

But the Whitsons have appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.

The county has argued the group home violates zoning laws by operating a commercial venture in a residential neighborhood; by not obtaining a special-use permit; and by using the house as a detention center.

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