Trustees consider upcoming housing projects in area redistricting maps

Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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The Winters Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees were presented with a fourth Trustee area redistricting map option at the Jan. 20 school board meeting.

As counties are currently reviewing area maps, so, too, are school boards as they look at any potential changes from the 2020 Census data.

Previously, David A. Soldani from the law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) and Carolyn Scholl from Cooperative Strategies had presented the results of their evaluation of the Census data from 2010 to 2020 on Nov. 18

Scholl presented that the current Winters JUSD voting areas (Trustee Areas) reflected an overall population growth of 569 (6.5 percent) and that the total overall variance difference of 22.8 percent put them out of compliance with the allowed 10 percent. In 2010, the overall variance had been 6.8 percent. The largest population of growth specifically was seen in Trustee Areas Four and Five.

The amount is determined by subtracting the population of the Trustee Area with the lowest density (1,695) from the Trustee Area with the highest density (2,121), and dividing the resulting number by the ideal Trustee Area population number (1,866).

“The initial snapshot tells us that we are going to have to make some changes and shuffle some things around too. Frankly, I’d like to see a single digit,” Soldani said. “That’s the headline, that we are going to have to make an adjusted map.”

Scholl also presented demographic data that showed the Hispanic/Latino population was the largest with a total population of 4,799 (51.4 percent) and Age 18 and over population of 3,369 (47.7 percent). Its followed by White with a total population of 3,836 (41.1 percent) and Age 18 and over population of 3,173 (44.9 perent) followed by Black with a total population of 68 (0.7 percent) and Age 18 and over population of 50 (0.7 percent).

Census data showed the following growth in each Trustee Area:

  • Trustee Area One was 1,706 in 2010, and 1,716 in 2020.
  • Trustee Area Two was 1,783 in 2010, and 1,764 in 2020.
  • Trustee Area Three was 1,714 in 2010, and 1,685 in 2020.
  • Trustee Area Four was 1,816 in 2010, and 2,035 in 2020.
  • Trustee Area Five was 1,826 in 2010, and 2,121 in 2020.

Scholl and Soladni returned on Dec. 16 to present Trustees with the first three initial maps on Dec. 16. Trustees had shared major concern regarding if the three maps took into consideration future housing projects, and whether the maps keeps the current Trustees in their area. 

Trustee Everardo Zaragoza had noted that he could not tell if his address was still in his area on one of the presented map scenarios.

Scholl and Soldani presented a fourth scenario map that had taken into consideration the current housing developments already approved by the City of Winters. It also took into consideration potential housing development numbers (including Farmstead) that have not yet been approved.

Considerations that must be taken in Trustee Areas are:

  • Each area shall contain nearly equal number of inhabitants.
  • Maps are drawn to comply with the Federal Voting Rights Act.
  • Areas are compact and contiguous.
  • Areas respect communities of interest.
  • Areas boundaries follow man-made and natural geographic features.
  • Areas respect incumbency, if possible.
  • Areas reflect local considerations like school boundaries and school site locations.

Scholl presented the map scenarios and the variance difference they each created:

  • Scenario 1 reduced the total down to 4.3 percent variance.
  • Scenario 2 reduced it to 4.7 percent variance.
  • Scenario 3 reduced it to 7.4 percent variance.
  • Scenario 4 reduced it to 9.6 percent variance in anticipation of the 2030 Census, taking into consideration the future growth expected in Trustee Areas Four and Five.

Trustees showed a preference for the fourth map scenario that was presented in January because it is accommodating of future housing developments.

The public is able to review the scenario maps at the Winters JUSD office building during business hours. 

A public hearing will be held at the Feb. 3 Winters JUSD Board of Trustee meeting on the draft adjusted Trustee Area map plan scenarios presented. Trustees are also expected to approve which of the four scenario maps they would like to move forward with. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

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