Some Riverdale Park residents may find themselves voting in a different ward come April, thanks to a redistricting plan drafted by Councilman Alan Thompson (Ward 2).
Thompson introduced an ordinance at Monday’s town council meeting that would shift some of the wards' boundaries to give them a more equal population distribution.
Federal courts recommend a population difference of no more than 10 percent between wards, and the town’s lawyer recommends closer to 7 percent, Thompson said. Riverdale Park's current ward structure is outside of these recommended limits, which prompted his proposal.
The average ward in Riverdale Park has about 1,100 residents, but based on the latest census data, current boundaries place too many people in Ward 1 and too few in Ward 2.
“Because of EYA and Cafritz, Ward 1 should be made as small as possible,” Thompson said, as these two development projects will put more roofs and more residents in Ward 1 over the next several years.
Under Thompson’s proposed redrawing of wards, borders would shift in in the following areas:
- The 4600 blocks of Rittenhouse and Ravenswood would move from Ward 1 to Ward 2
- The 4700 block of Oglethorpe would be added to Ward 3 (the north side is currently in Ward 1)
- 54th Avenue between Riverdale Road and East-West Highway would be consolidated into Ward 2 (the east side is currently in Ward 4)
- The single family homes on the southeast corner of Riverdale Road would be moved from Ward 4 to Ward 2
The new plan would result in Ward 1 having the fewest residents and Ward 6 having the most, with a 7.6 percent difference between the two. The town's attorney believes that number is well within recommended guidelines, Thompson said.
The council will review the new ward boundaries at a meeting in February before voting on the ordinance.