The Lexington council moved forward a proposed redistricting map without any changes on Thursday that would move nearly 50,000 voters to new council districts.
A committee, which consists of appointees of the 15 council members, approved the proposed redistricting map in late October after meeting for several months.
The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council had the opportunity to make changes to the proposed map before approving it but the council voted narrowly 8 to 6 Thursday to move the proposed map to its meeting agenda without making any changes.
A final vote on the new council districts is scheduled for Tuesday night.
No member of the public attended a Wednesday evening public hearing about the proposed changes.
Council district boundaries must be redrawn after the release of U.S. Census figures every ten years if there are substantial changes in population. Fayette County’s population grew by 26,767 people from the 2010 to 2020 census. Fayette County’s population is now 322,570.
The committee’s proposed changes would move 46 precincts into new council districts and affect 48,803 voters.
Council districts with the most changes include District 3, which previously included much of the downtown area and neighborhoods around the University of Kentucky. District 3 will now include eight precincts south of the UK Arboretum — between Tates Creek, Nicholasville and New Circle roads — that were once part of District 4. That means District 4 will now largely consist of neighborhoods south of New Circle Road to the county line, making it a suburban district.
Districts 10 and 11 also saw substantial changes. Members of the Pensacola Park neighborhood had strongly objected to being moved from District 3 to District 10 in prior committee meetings about the redrawing of the maps. People from Pensacola Park, located north of Southland Drive off Nicholasville Road, said it is a historic district that has more in common with neighborhoods around UK than the largely suburban neighborhoods located in District 10, which includes such neighborhoods as Beaumont.
The committee ultimately decided to keep Pensacola Park in District 10.
The U.S. Census bureau did not release final numbers until mid-August, compressing the timeline for when the maps needed to be approved.
According to the city’s charter, the council does not have to approve new district lines until April 2022. However, people have already started filing with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to raise money for council district races that will be up for re-election in 2022. To officially file with the Fayette County Clerk’s office, those candidates need 100 signatures of voters in their districts. Candidates need to know what those council district boundaries are to make sure they have the correct signatures and reside in the right council district.
Residents can plug in their address in a map at www.lexingtonky.gov/redistricting-lexington to see if they would be moved to a different council district. To find out more about the redistricting process, go to www.lexingtonky.gov/redistricting-lexington.