Redistricting Commission to hear last minute arguments

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The seven members of the city's Redistricting Commission will meet Monday to tackle still-unresolved issues dealing with the drawing of new maps for City Council districts.

The meeting, which was added to the original schedule, comes three days before the commissioners are slated to vote on the final plan.

The last two meetings attracted overflow crowds, mostly of residents of a section of Rancho Penasquitos who oppose being placed in a district with Mira Mesa instead of the rest of their community.

Park Village sits between state Route 56 and the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, and the current map has them set to join Mira Mesa to the south in District 6, to be represented by Lorie Zapf. The residents want to be in District 5, now represented by Carl DeMaio.

While the representatives have similar views on the issues, DeMaio is giving his seat up at the end of next year as part of his mayoral bid and Zapf is expected to switch to a coastal district when she faces re-election in 2014.

The residents say they have more in common with those who live in the rest of Rancho Penasquitos.

The commissioners also have been discussing whether to keep the adjoining neighborhoods of Shelltown and Southcrest in the same district, and have received flak over changes to the district Kensington will belong to.

The boundaries for council districts are adjusted every 10 years based on updated census data. This year has been more difficult than usual because the commissioners have to carve out an additional district, the ninth, to accommodate the recent change to San Diego's form of governance.

Once the commission makes the new map official, city officials will still face questions on implementation.

Tony Young, the City Council president, has proposed having council members begin representing their districts in 30 days. However, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has opined that the new maps won't become effective until next year's elections.

The maps, once they are approved, could also face lawsuits or referendums.

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