Redesigning the Voting Districts: An Update

Because of findings from the 2010 US census that indicate there is a change in population resulting in a deviation of approximately 7.97% between Decatur’s two votings districts, the City Commission is considering changes to the City Charter to amend the existing election districts for the City Commission and the Board of Education to comply with the “one-person/one-vote standard” of the United States and Georgia Constitutions. According to the US Department of Justice standards, election districts should not exceed a 5% deviation.

Due to the small window of time to get paperwork to the Department of Justice this year and the fact that the latest data indicates only a 5.75% deviation in Districts 1 and 2, the city will continue to use its current district configurations for the 2011 elections. The plan is to consider changes (most likely in August City Commission meetings) that will bring the deviation to less than 3% to be enacted by Jan 1, 2012.

City Commission adopts 2011 Livable Cities Initiative 10-year update

The City previously had two designed LCI districts and rather than pursue any additional optional districts, the Atlanta Regional Commission approved designating the entire City of Decatur as one LCI district, making a larger area of the city eligible for LCI grants for transportation related projects such as intersection improvements, bicycle lanes, streetscape improvements, etc. The approved LCI 10-year update will soon be available on the City’s website.

Zoning Ordinance Revision Task Force Appointed

In order to implement the recommendations of the 2010-2020 Strategic Plan, the City Commission has established a community based task force. The task force will study the recommendations of the Strategic Plan related to zoning to identify possible revisions to the existing ordinance, to solicit public opinion on the proposed revisions and build community support for any changes to the city’s zoning ordinance that might be recommended. The public will be engaged through 3 open house workshops and Open City Hall as well as other forms of regular communication. Task Force members include one member from each of the city appointed commissions and boards, 1 commercial property /business owner, 1 downtown condo resident, 1 R60 adjacent to downtown resident and 2 at large representatives from the Roundtable Process. Thanks to the following folks who will be serving the city on the Zoning Ordinance Revision Task Force:

Jack Rhodes – Planning Commission

Kyle Williams – Zoning Board of Appeals

Chris Sciarrone – Downtown Development Authority

Lori Leland Kirk – Historic Preservation Commission

Tony Leung – Environmental Sustainability Board

Bill Adams – Active Living Board

Fisher Paty – Commercial Property Owner

Ellis McIntyre – Downtown Condo Resident

Scott Keinger – R1 60 Adjacent to Downtown Resident

Seegar Swanson – At large

Joy Provost – At large