LONG BEACH : Redistricting Plan Studied

A plan to redraw the nine Long Beach City Council districts to provide equal population in each has been referred to a council committee.

The City Charter mandates redistricting every five years if the Planning Commission finds, as it did recently, that the populations of the districts are not "approximately equal." Analysts say that populations of the districts now vary by as much as 8,154, with 38,875 in the 5th District and 47,029 in the 1st District.

Planners say that three districts on the city's east side are below the city average and that three downtown-area districts have all grown substantially since 1980.

Planning Director Robert Paternoster said Wednesday that his staff has drafted a plan that would shrink the boundaries of the downtown-area districts, while extending the east side districts westward toward downtown. Paternoster said, however, that the plan is only a suggestion, and that council members will approve the final redistricting plan.

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