City leaders are discussing changes that could let sexual predators live closer to daycare centers.

The Jacksonville City Council is considering reducing the minimum distance registered sex offenders and predators can live from daycare centers from 2,500 feet to 1,500 feet.

Ordinance sponsor Bill Gulliford said letting sexual predators live closer to daycare centers actually makes neighborhoods safer, but some residents aren't buying it.

"I can't say I agree with that," Jann Clark said. "I don't want any children to be violated in any type of way or feel scared, or parents to feel like their children aren't safe."

Under state law, sexual offenders can live 1,000 feet from daycares, schools, parks and playgrounds.

The city of Jacksonville imposes an additional 1,500-foot buffer, which Gulliford said actually makes neighborhoods less safe, because it makes it almost impossible for offenders to find homes where they can legally live.

The bill says the change would help by "ensuring that registered sexual predators remain traceable, and to discourage this dangerous population from becoming transient."

The planning commission voted in favor of the minimum distance reduction in November, claiming existing regulations are "excessive" and punish neighborhoods by not allowing new daycares to be built where offenders already live.

Last month, the Neighborhoods Community Services Public Health and Safety Committee voted the measure down 5-2.

On Tuesday, the Land Use and Zoning Committee delayed its vote, causing nervous reactions from residents.

"I would tell them they need to strongly consider this," Clark said. "We want to keep our children safe."

Calls and emails to Gulliford were not returned.