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updated: 9/5/2012 5:28 PM

Des Plaines redraws ward maps; final approval expected Sept. 17

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The Des Plaines City Council Tuesday night approved on first reading new boundaries for the city's eight wards.

The proposed ward map is available on the city's website, desplaines.org/2012wardmap.

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Since 2000, the city's population has grown by 1,419 people to 58,364, according to the 2010 census.

Much of the growth has been in the city's 1st and 7th wards near the Union Pacific railroad tracks on the north and south sides, and in new housing developments in the 7th Ward, according to a city memo.

With redrawn boundaries, the total population would be divided by the eight wards, resulting in an average of 7,296 residents per ward, with any given ward within about a 2 percent margin.

The proposed redistricting map was prepared using current ward boundaries as much as possible, and using major roads and railroads as dividing lines, while respecting neighborhoods and precinct lines where possible.

Due to the number of new housing projects and condos in the 1st and 7th wards, those wards would become geographically smaller with redistricting. The 4th, 5th and 8th wards would see minor changes, while the 6th Ward would remain unchanged.

The city council is expected to adopt the boundary changes after second reading at the Sept. 17 meeting. Residents will have the opportunity to weigh in at that time.

Officials plan to have new ward maps in place before Sept. 25 -- the first day aldermanic candidates can circulate petitions for the April 2013 municipal election.

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