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Reynoldsburg to redraw ward boundaries
Some Reynoldsburg residents in Wards 2 and 3 could find themselves living in a different ward if a plan is approved by Reynoldsburg City Council.
The Ward Boundary Commission recently finished making final changes to a plan that would shift some households into different wards to even out the growing population in Reynoldsburg. The changes were based on suggestions made by city council members at recent council committee meetings.
The proposed plan was on the Sept. 17 city council meeting docket, but was pulled off the agenda to allow the commission to make some final changes based on recommendations from city council, council clerk Nancy Frasier said.
Now that the newest changes have been incorporated, the areas will be surveyed and then legislation will be presented to council, Frasier said.
Every 10 years, the city of Reynoldsburg is required by city charter to redraw its ward boundaries based on information gathered from the U.S. Census. The 2010 U.S. Census showed enormous growth on the city’s eastside in Wards 2 and Ward 3, according to members of the Ward Boundary Commission.
“We have four wards,” commission member Marshal Spalding said. “Of the four wards, Wards 2 and 3 grew faster than Wards 1 and 4.”
Spalding said the job of the commission is to adjust the ward boundaries so the population base of each of the wards is within 1 percent.
In the most current plan that will be presented to council, Spalding said a multi-family housing complex behind the 5 Bean Coffee Shop on State Route 256 in Ward 3 will be relocated to Ward 4, shifting about 300 families. A similar complex in Fairfield County will move from Ward 3 to 4, also shifting about 300 families, he said.
Ward Boundary Commission member Preston Stearns said he is pleased with the final plan that will be presented to city council.
“There were a couple of issues in the area off State Route 256, with apartments in Licking County,” he said. “The way it was set up, some of the apartments would have been split up. All of the issues have been taken care of.”
Ward 4 City Councilmember Mel Clemens said the population in the four wards needed to be balanced because there is no room for growth in Wards 1 and 4. The only way to increase the population in those two wards is to redraw city boundaries.
“There is no place to build homes or room for any more apartments,” Clemens said. “They did a good job as far as the redistricting.”
Ward 1 is primarily north of Lancaster Road, north to Broad Street, the older part of Reynoldsburg, Spalding said. Lancaster is in Ward 2, most of Taylor Road is in Ward 3 and most of Main Street is in Ward 4, including Brice Road, Livingston Avenue and Blacklick Golf Course.
“We look at the current demographics and current projections and move individual blocks to balance (the population),” Spalding said.
Frasier said currently there are 7,447 residents in Ward 1, 9,286 residents in Ward 2, 11,518 residents in Ward 3 and 7,645 residents in Ward 4. The plan created by the Ward Boundary Commission, if approved by council, would put 9,020 residents in Ward 1, 8,883 residents in Ward 2, 8,906 residents in Ward 3 and 9,084 residents in Ward 4.
Commission member Robert Cook said it was important to him that ward boundaries were redrawn accurately, so he drove along the proposed boundary changes in a car and on a bicycle.
“The council’s objective is to adjust, not create a new system,” he said.
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