November 25, 2014

Elyria
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North Ridgeville wards to be redrawn by City Council

NORTH RIDGEVILLE — A population surge over the past decade will result in changed boundaries for the city’s four political wards.

The issue will be discussed during a 6 p.m. committee-of-the-whole meeting Monday by City Council members who will hear an initial proposal for ward boundary revisions from Council President Kevin Corcoran, R-at large, who is charged with coming up with a plan.

The city charter states that changes in ward boundaries must be made between Oct. 1 and Jan. 1 in the year after the latest census year, which was 2010.

The city has grown by more than 7,000 residents — rising from 22,338 in 2000 to 29,465 in 2010.

The bulk of that growth occurred in the 1st Ward, where a pair of massive housing developments, Meadow Lakes off Center Ridge Road and Waterbury Place off Sugar Ridge Road, each added hundreds of homes to the ward.

The 1st Ward geographically is the city’s largest and is encompassed by Avon Belden Road and Jaycox Road to the east, Mills Road to the north, and the Elyria city line to the west.

The other area that saw significant growth was in the 3rd Ward, where the 600-plus-home Ridgefield development was built. That ward stretches east from Avon Belden Road to the Olmsted Township line, south to Eaton Township and north to Chestnut Ridge Road.

By comparison, the smallest amount of growth was seen in the 2nd and 4th wards, which are the oldest parts of the city and have the fewest remaining spots for construction of new homes or other residential development.

While exact figures are yet to be determined from census data, Corcoran projected each ward should ideally have 7,300 to 7,400 residents. The 1st Ward now has roughly 11,000 residents.

“Wards 2 and 4 have to grow the most, while Ward 1 has to drop the most,” Corcoran said. “We need to lose 3,500 out of that ward, while wards 2 and 4 have to grow by over 1,000.

“It’s like moving puzzle pieces around to make population numbers work per ward. It’s not overly difficult. It just takes time to do it.”

Councilwoman Nancy Buescher, R-1st Ward, did not respond to a call and email seeking comment Tuesday.

The configuration of each ward also must followlogical physical boundaries such as highways, streets and railroad tracks.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com.