The volunteers who redesigned the San Diego City Hall district boundaries approved a provisional map Friday that keeps UC San Diego connected to La Jolla but separates part of University City from both by dividing that neighborhood in half.
The proposed map keeps Rancho Penasquitos divided between two districts despite residents pushing for reunification, but it departs from a controversial proposal to cut Clairemont into four parts, dividing that neighborhood in half instead.
Supporters of the map said its strengths include uniting Normal Heights in District 9, uniting Linda Vista in District 7, and reorganizing several southeastern neighborhoods on ethnicity and social connections.
The map would also increase the percentage of Asians in District 6 from 34 percent per month to more than 38 percent, although some UCSD students and other community leaders have said that anything below 40 percent is inappropriate.
Many UCSD students have been pushing this fall to be part of a strongly Asian district, claiming they have more in common with residents east of campus in District 6 than they do with upscale La Jolla in District 1, especially where it concerns housing and transportation.
The voluntary redistricting panel said residents should expect the final tentative map they are scheduled to adopt next Thursday to look largely similar to the map the panel approved on Friday.
"I don't think it's likely to vary radically," said Redistricting Commission Chairman Tom Hebrank, who is the lead author of the map approved on Friday.
But Hebrank said there could be some small changes made Thursday. And after that, the final tentative map will be the subject of legal analysis and five public hearings before it is potentially finalized on December 15.
San Diego must redraw its council boundaries once every 10 years when new US census data becomes available. The panel is tasked with creating nine districts that are nearly evenly populated, while trying to keep connected communities together.
The panel was clearly split Friday between the map it approved, called the "president's map," and a
Six panelists favored the president's map, while three favored a proposal that supporters call the Collaborative Communities map. of San Diego.
That map would separate UCSD from La Jolla and move the university into a newly drawn District 6 where more than 40 percent of the residents would be Asian.
It would also make Southern Districts 8 and 9 more strongly Latino.
The map would link La Jolla with the city's beach communities in a new densely coastal District 1, while District 2 would move inland so that Clairemont could meet in one district along with Kearny Mesa, Serra Mesa, and Linda Vista.
District 5 would span the northern city limits from Del Mar Heights to Rancho Bernardo, while District 7 would connect inland communities from Carmel Mountain Ranch in the north to Del Cerro in the south.
Supporters say the map would do more to create fairness between the districts and solve many key problems, such as the unpopular division of Clairemont and Rancho Penasquitos among various municipal districts.
"While not perfect, the San Diego Collaborative Community Map meets the commission's stated goals and serves as many communities as possible," said Commissioner Justine Nielsen.
"This map addressed several of the big issues quite successfully," said Commissioner Roy MacPhail.
Commissioner Monica Hernandez joined MacPhail and Nielsen in support of that map.
Critics of the The Collaborative Communities map said that the changes it would make would be too dramatic, especially in Districts 1, 2, 5 and 7. And they said that connecting Carmel Mountain with relatively far from Del Cerro would be an important stretch.
They also note that the map deviates from the city's longstanding goal of having two coastal districts. While the proposed District 1 and District 6 on the map include coastal lands, District 6 would only include UCSD and some sparsely populated areas.
Commissioner Fred Kosmo said the President's map is the best compromise and criticized competitive proposals focused on equity and holding District 1 together.
"Those are win / lose maps where one side wins and the other loses," Kosmo said. “The chair map is the best map in terms of balancing the interests of all the people of San Diego and drawing the lines in a fair space according to our guidelines and trying to give everyone a voice.”
Kosmo said it is difficult to weigh so many competing interests.
"I'm impressed with the college students and their enthusiasm, but there are a lot of people who are raising families and have jobs, and they count too," he said.
Sherri Lightner, a La Jolla resident who served on the City Council from 2008 to 2016, said she is frustrated by the panel's insistence that District 1 should be divided because it has too many people.
"Something sucks," said Lightner, who declined to provide details. "As a former board member and chairman of the board, I know there is most likely something quite powerful driving this, and it is not the residents."
The map approved Friday would divide University City between Districts 1 and 6 at Genesee Avenue and Eastgate Mall. The Park Village section of Rancho Penasquitos would remain in District 6, despite months of lobbying by residents to meet with the rest of Penasquitos in District 5.
Torrey Highlands would change from District 5 to District 6, which has
The map would link the state of San Diego with its new western campus in District 9. It would divide Kearny Mesa in half, and the Convoy District would remain in the Large Asian Population District 6 and East Kearny Mesa in District 7.
Clairemont would be divided in half at Genesee Avenue between Districts 2 and 6. The community is now divided between those two districts, but the boundary is further west: Clairemont Drive in the north and Tecolote Canyon in the south.
A map the panel proposed last week would have divided Clairemont into four districts.
The map would reorganize several neighborhoods in southeast San Diego.
[1 9459004] Shelltown and Southcrest would move from District 9 to District 8, Redwood Village and Rolando Park would move from District 4 to District 9, and Mount Hope would move from District 9 to District 4. Additionally, Webster and Ridgeview would merge into District 4.
For details on the boundary drawing process and to contribute comments, visit the Redistricting Commission website at sandiego.gov/redistricting-commission.[19459005