WINCHESTER — City Council on Tuesday will begin the process of redrawing boundaries for Winchester's four wards to ensure that each ward has roughly the same number of residents.
According to two redistricting options submitted by Winchester Voter Registrar Liz Martin, the boundaries for Ward 1 would remain the same. The only significant changes would be in Ward 3, which will expand to include some residents of Ward 4 and, possibly, Ward 2.
The last time City Council altered the ward boundaries was in 2011, based on data from the 2010 U.S. Census. The process needs to be repeated now because of new population information contained in the 2020 Census.
When the redistricting is complete, some people who presently live in Ward 3 will find themselves in a different ward with different representatives on City Council and the Winchester School Board.
According to the 2020 Census, Winchester's four wards currently have the following populations:
- Ward 1 — 6,850
- Ward 2 — 6,995
- Ward 3 — 6,884
- Ward 4 — 7,546
In order to balance the populations of the four wards, Martin is proposing two redistricting options.
The first would transfer 299 residents of a semi-rectangular portion of land bordered by West Jubal Early Drive, Valley Avenue, Burton Street, Bellview Avenue and South Loudoun Street from Ward 4 to Ward 3. That would change the population of Ward 3 to 7,183 and Ward 4 to 7,247.
The second option would transfer the same 299 people from Ward 4 to Ward 3, but would also shift an additional 83 residents from a sliver of Ward 2 bordered by Franklin Street, Pine Street, Orchard Avenue and Elm Street into Ward 3. This scenario would change the population of Ward 3 to 7,100, Ward 2 to 7,078 and Ward 4 to 7,247.
City Council on Tuesday is expected to either recommend one of Martin's two redistricting alternatives or ask for other suggestions from the Voter Registrar's Office. No timeline for finalizing the new ward boundaries has been announced.
To see the proposed changes, visit winchesterva.civicweb.net and click on council's work session agenda for Nov. 23.