GREENFIELD — Thousands of residents could be represented by different City Council members next year if a newly redrawn district lines are approved.
New council districts were proposed this week by the council’s redistricting committee, which would move several areas of the city into different districts but keep all council members within their current districts.
Among other criteria, city Engineer Mike Fruth said the committee was “trying not to displace current councilmen from their districts.”
The city council is required to look at redistricting every 10 years based on census data. With a population of about 20,000, Greenfield is divided into five council districts of about 4,000 residents each. District population can vary up to 10 percent, so the population range for each district was 3,600 to 4,400 people.
One of the districts had grown too large while another was too small, so changes had to be made, said Councilman John Patton.
“I had argued that the districts ought to be kept the same, but with the imperative to keep the districts within 10 percent plus or minus … about the only way to fix it was the way we did it,” he said.
The result was new district lines impacting several areas of the city.
If the new map is approved, more than 3,900 residents – about 20 percent of the city – will be in new council districts.
nResidents north of McKenzie Road west of Franklin Street/Fortville Pike will move from District 4 to District 3.
nResidents who live north of New Road and east of State Street will move from District 2 to District 3.
nResidents in the neighborhood north of McClarnon Drive and east of Apple Street will move from District 1 to District 2.
nThe neighborhood east of Apple Street to Date Street and from Ninth Street south to Main Street will move from District 1 to District 2.
nSeveral other homes south of U.S. 40 will move out of District 5 and into Districts 1 and 2.
nA large section of downtown will also switch districts. All homes from State Street west to Franklin Street and between Park Avenue and Main Street will move from District 3 to District 4.
The redistricting committee tried to account for future growth, which could prompt fewer changes in the future. Districts 2 and 3 are the largest in the proposed map. Those areas are already developed, so will likely see little population growth.
“It looks good,” Councilman Greg Carwein said. “Those two really can’t grow anymore.”
One of those districts belongs to Patton, who began representing District 3 this year. While he’s disappointed to lose some of the constituents he is just getting to know, Patton doesn’t anticipate the changes causing too many problems.
“I don’t perceive it will be too much different,” he said. “I just need to be sure those people know who I am and that I’m here to help them.”
Districts 1, 4 and 5 still have room to grow before they reach the 4,400 population cap. They cover areas of the city that could still see more development.
City Attorney Tom Billings said an ordinance to adopt the new districts should be ready for a first reading in September. If approved by the council, the ordinance will take effect Jan. 1.