CROWN POINT | A proposed new districting map calls for splitting five precincts to more evenly distribute population among the five voting districts, city officials said.
The redistricting map granted early approval by the City Council on Monday would divide precincts 3, 6, 7, 11 and 19.
Splitting precincts was the only way to keep neighborhoods intact and districts divided mostly along main roads, while still meeting a state mandated goal of having district populations fall within 10 percent of one another, officials said.
"Trying to do it without splitting precincts, we couldn't keep populations balanced," said Councilman Mark Schweitzer, R-at large, and a member of the council committee which has worked for several months on the redistricting map.
A final vote is planned Dec. 20, to meet a deadline for adopting a new map by the end of the year. The state mandate calls for boundaries to reflect changes in the U.S. Census conducted every 10 years.
The proposed new map distributes a Crown Point population of 27,317 into five districts of between 4,926 and 5,444 people each.
Key changes as a result of the census called for the outsized 1st District on the city's east side to lose population.
The district had grown over the previous decade because it took on land mass from an earlier annexation and gained population from a spurt of new housing.
The new map would shift about 2,520 people out of the 1st District, taking it to 5,190 from 7,709. The four other districts would gain population.
Each of the five districts elects one City Council member to represent it. The two at-large members are elected by the city as a whole.