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posted: 3/13/2012 10:55 PM

First meeting for proposed Naperville voting districts draws little interest

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If attendance at the city's first of six open house meetings on the topic is any indication, Naperville's proposed voting districts aren't likely to change much before council members see the final recommendation in August.

Four residents and a small group of city staff members attended the first open house meeting for the proposed districts held at the public works facility on Fort Hill Drive in the proposed first district. Community Planner Amy Emery said, since the proposed map was unveiled in December, residents have asked few questions but posed no alternative solutions.

"No one has presented, at this point, a specific suggestion for a change to map," she said. "And if there is a suggestion we want to know about it in as specific detail as possible."

A committee of key staff people used 2010 census results and a special geography software to construct the map of the five proposed compact and contiguous districts that voters backed during the November 2010 election.

The northern and western boundaries of proposed District 1 are formed by the city limits. The southern boundary extends to 75th Street and the eastern boundary generally follows Rickert Drive, Plainfield/Naperville Road, and the DuPage River.

Proposed District 2 extends from 75th Street to the northern city limits. Generally the eastern boundary is Washington Street to Hillside Road and the western boundary is formed by Plainfield/Naperville Road and the DuPage River.

The northern boundary of District 3 is formed by segments of Chicago Avenue, Prairie Avenue and Hillside Road. The western boundary runs primarily along Washington Street. The eastern and southern boundaries are formed by the city limits.

The proposed fourth, and largest, district would extend between Washington Street and Route 59, and surrounds significant portions of the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. The southern boundary of the district generally follows 95th street to the city limits and the northern boundary is defined by 75th Street.

The fifth and smallest district would encompass the southernmost portions of the city. Most of the property in this district is south of 95th Street between the DuPage River and the western city limits.

"Given the attendance here tonight, I don't expect to see any significant changes. But aside from that, it's a really good map. They did a good job," said Jane Barnes, president of the League of Women Voters in Naperville. "I'd like to see people looking at the district they are in and paying attention to all of the other areas in their district. I think that has the potential to make it interesting."

The next meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m., April 10 at the Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St. in the proposed second district.

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