Daytona Beach HOA builds playground to block sex offenders

Article and Video Courtesy of FOX 35, Orlando

By Keith Landry

Published August 31, 2013 

 Watch VIDEO


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A simple playground is blocking sex offenders from moving into a Central Florida neighborhood. 


Police agencies across Volusia County are pretty sure this is the first time in Florida that an HOA has built a playground to make sure sex offenders cannot move in to their neighborhood. It's a case of homeowners teaming up to protect their kids.

More than three hundred families who live in the Bayberry Lakes Subdivision in Daytona Beach have a message for sex offenders. They are not welcome. 

Assistant State Attorney Ryan Will found a way to keep them out. He has lived in the neighborhood for the last four years. Will suggested building a playground to block sex offenders from moving in. 

"I had to do a lot of research with various state and local agencies," Will says. "And there wasn't anybody that knew about this kind of thing."


According to a Daytona Beach ordinance, sex offenders cannot live within 2,500 feet of a school, day care, park or playground. Will's neighborhood had an unprotected area where sex offenders could move in, until homeowners built their playground.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood says this project is fantastic.

"We can't be everywhere. We beg for community support. It's an outside of the box. It's a great idea.

The children get a safe place to play where they can be happy and the community is safer."

The HOA board voted to build the playground on land they already own. Each homeowner chipped in one hundred dollars for the twenty-seven thousand dollar playground. Now families have peace of mind and children have fun.

"Kids have been out here every day laughing and smiling, and that's a big reward for everyone involved," says Will, adding that he is already getting calls from other HOA boards wanting to do the same thing. "I hope other communities will follow suit and do the same to protect their kids."

The HOA does not have to spend a huge amount money. State law says you only have to have one piece of playground equipment for it to be considered a playground, and that's enough to prevent sex offenders from moving into your neighborhood.