Redistricting divides community among reps
By Ashley Shah
The City of San Diego is divided into nine City Council districts. Scripps Ranch, which previously belonged mostly to District 5, will be split between two districts, District 5 and District 6 due to recent city redistricting.
Previously, District 5 stopped at Interstate-15; District 6 started on the other side of the freeway.
However, since the lines were redrawn, the boundary between District 5 and District 6 now bisects Scripps Ranch from Pomerado Road, along Scripps Ranch Boulevard north to Affinity Court. Areas that will be within District 6 include many that are considered central to Scripps Ranch, including Scripps Ranch High School, Hibert Street and the “Trader Joe’s shopping center,” Businesspark Avenue, most of Aviary Drive, the very southern end of Scripps Ranch Boulevard, the Scripps Ranch Swim & Racquet Club off Aviary Drive and Scripps Ranch Village Shopping Center including “small” or “old VONS.”
District 6 will also encompass the eastern portion of Scripps Ranch, including Rancho Encantada and Stonebridge. The boundary begins east of the intersection of Pomerado Road, Cypress Canyon Park Drive, and Spring Canyon Road.
Since Scripps Ranch will be divided between two districts, there will be two council members representing the community.
“Council members are essentially advocates for our districts to receive city services and solve problems that they may experience,” said District 6 City Councilmember Chris Cate.
Cate described the advantages and possible disadvantages of Scripps Ranch having two council members.
“Two council members for an area isn’t super uncommon. Right now, Rancho Penasquitos has two council members. If anything, having two council members is actually a good thing. Scripps Ranch will get twice as much representation down at City Hall,” he said.
“An issue that could possibly arise would be that because neighborhoods are split amongst two council districts, community members would have to know which district to ask for (to get) their street repaved,” Cate said.
Redistricting of cities and counties occurs every 10 years.
“Every ten years a census occurs. Following the census, the data about populations in cities and counties is released,” Cate said. “Lines dividing districts sometimes end up being redrawn to keep populations per area the same, and keep key communities together.”
A commission is formed to redraw the lines. The commission consists of one member per district.
“In late 2020, the commission was formed. A panel of retired judges looks over the applications for the members of the commission and appoints them,” Cate said.
There were more than 200 applicants for the commission.
“In 2021, the commission started looking over the census data. They held public hearings, took in written comments, listened to advocates to try and figure out the best ways to redraw the lines,” Cate said.
In December of 2021, the final decision for the redistricting occurred. A 7-2 vote approved the final map.
“After deciding on Dec. 15 (2021), there was a period of one month where anyone can object to the map that was made,” said Quinton Grounds, community representative for City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert of District 5.
No objections occurred during that period of time.
As of now, though, Scripps Ranch is still represented by Marni Von Wilpert.
“Once the new council member for District 6 is elected, that person will represent the portion of Scripps Ranch within District 6,” Cate said.
The election for the new council member will be held in November, and the new council member will take their seat in December.
Despite Scripps Ranch being divided into two districts, residents on each side are still welcome to contact the other district if they have any issues.
“We are still in Scripps Ranch, and taking care of the community. We’re not disappearing from Scripps Ranch. Just because you live on the other side of Scripps Ranch Boulevard doesn’t mean you can’t give us a call,” Grounds said.
Learn more at sandiego.gov/redistricting-commission.