Solana Beach selects map in redistricting process

Solana Beach City Hall
(UT Community Press file photo)

After four public hearings, the Solana Beach City Council completed its redistricting process March 23 by adopting a map that resembles the districts put in place a few years ago.

Several maps were under consideration before the council chose map 202, which divides the portion of the city west of Interstate 5 into three districts and has a fourth district that takes up most of the city east of the 5. Districts 1 and 3 also contain small sections east of the freeway.

Solana Beach Deputy Mayor Kelly Harless said there was “a lot of great community input” that went into the process.”

“We also talked about how much thought and consideration went into our original map, and making sure that all the neighborhoods here in our little town share in our very special resources,” she said. “For those reasons, I am going to support map 202.”

In response to a legal threat by Malibu attorney Kevin Shenkman, the city created four council districts to go along with a separately elected mayor. Solana Beach had five at-large council members before that.

Shenkman has been threatening to sue cities that have at-large elections, alleging that minority voters were being disenfranchised.
The city complied instead of risking an expensive legal battle.

The city had to undertake a redistricting process again, with an April 17 deadline, due to the release of the decennial census data.

According to 2020 census data, the population of Solana Beach is 12,941.

“Our imbalance right now is between District 2 and District 3,” Solana Beach City Councilman David Zito said. “This directly solves that by shifting from District 2 to District 3 and nobody gets deferred because of that. The only impact will be some people who voted in 2020 will also vote in 2022, which is a nice side effect. There’s nobody deferred, waiting for six years wondering why they didn’t get to vote for a council member.”