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County News

Posted on: November 17, 2021

Chesterfield Adopts New Redistricting Plan

Approved Redistricting Map

Board of Supervisors and County Attorney's Office

Nov. 17, 2021

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — The Chesterfield Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday night to approve a plan for redrawing the boundaries of the county’s five magisterial districts, as required every decade in conjunction with the U.S. Census.

The alternate redistricting map, Plan B, which was introduced earlier this month in response to concerns from residents of the Woodlake community, allocates Chesterfield’s 365,000 residents evenly among the Bermuda, Clover Hill, Dale, Matoaca and Midlothian districts.

It satisfies requirements under state law that the districts be compact and contiguous, while limiting impact on residents. The county also concluded the plan has very little effect on racial demographics in each district.

“Public input has been an essential element of the redistricting process,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Chris Winslow, who represents the Clover Hill District. “We reviewed all comments we received and redistricting maps submitted. The adopted map, which took into account feedback from Woodlake residents, complies with all legal requirements.” 

The board voted 4-1, with Chair Jim Holland casting the lone dissenting vote. Holland requested that a vote on the redistricting plan be held instead at the board’s Dec. 15 meeting.

“During the public hearing last month, citizens were told they may submit a redistricting plan for consideration. This week, we received a map from citizens to consider [at the board’s December meeting]. To be fair, we should review information from all citizens and have them have the opportunity to review as well,” Holland said. “Since this process will last the next 10 years, we should not rush.”

As part of his presentation to the board Wednesday, County Attorney Jeff Mincks noted there were problems with both of the maps submitted by a citizen’s group on Nov. 14.

The first map, called Beach Proposal #1, violated the equal population requirement, Mincks said.

The citizen group’s second map, Beach Proposal #2, had two issues: it created an issue of compactness and decreased the Black population in the Dale District to 35%.

“What concerns me here is, under this proposal, with Dale systematically over the years increasing in Black population and starting to move into that 40% range, which has legal significance, this proposal would set that back,” Mincks said.  

The county launched a dedicated census webpage in September, soon after receipt of census data, helping residents navigate the redistricting process and providing them an online portal to submit comments and concerns about the proposed map.

The webpage includes charts and presentations that incorporate census data. 

Feedback also was collected by mail, during two Facebook Live community meetings and a public hearing at the Board of Supervisors’ Oct. 27 meeting.

Chesterfield received more than 350 comments and engaged with several organizations, including homeowners associations, to provide insight into how the redistricting plan aligns with legal requirements.

An alternate map released in November, following residents’ concerns that the county’s original proposal divided Woodlake between the Matoaca and Clover Hill districts, keeps the neighborhood mostly intact and shifts it to Clover Hill.   

After adopting the Woodlake alternative, Chesterfield must now follow the attorney general’s new process to have the redistricting certified.

The county will begin preparing its redistricting ordinance, maps and other information for submission to the attorney general in compliance with the Dec. 31 deadline.

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