The Montgomery County Council approved a plan on Tuesday to redraw the boundaries of the five council districts, a step that sets up formal approval on Nov. 29.
"I think it's a solid plan and while no one of us wants to lose any of our current constituents we recognize there have to be changes," Councilmember Phil Andrews (D-District 3) of Gaithersburg said. "The commission did that in a way that respects communities and interests. It does maintain compactness."
The plan, which was based on 2010 precincts to draw the district lines, keeps all municipalities in single districts, according to a council press release. The unincorporated areas of Germantown, Clarksburg, Montgomery Village, Olney, Wheaton, Four Corners, Burtonsville, White Oak, Fairland and Potomac are not divided. Residents along River Road and Route 29 will also be in single districts, according to the plan.
The new boundaries are the result of population shifts reflected in the 2010 census. Montgomery County's population has grown by 98,436 people over the last 10 years. Without change, District 2 — the upcounty — has the largest share of the county population, at 22.1 percent. District 5 — the southeast section — has the smallest share, at 19 percent.
The targeted population for each revised district is 194,468. The plan brings district populations close to that figure. District 1 is 1,762 above target, District 2 is 2,060 below target, District 3 is 62 below target, District 4 is 373 above target and District 5 is 15 below target.
Redistricting the county was not without controversy. County residents were concerned that communities would be spilt between lines. They also were concerned that a new council member wouldn't know community issues.
Seventy-eight percent of the population will stay in the same council district, Council President Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) said.