Douglas County commissioners unanimously approved the modification of the county’s commissioner districts and added a new precinct this past week.
A total of seven precincts were affected by the June 25 vote that stemmed from a May proposal by Douglas County Clerk and Recorder Jack Arrowsmith. Arrowsmith saw a need for the change after state and federal redistricting in 2011 led to the placing of six Douglas County precincts in two separate commissioner districts.
“A precinct has to be entirely within a single U.S. Congressional district, a single U.S. Senate district and entirely in a state House and state Senate district,” Arrowsmith said in May. “Once we redesigned our precincts (to meet these requirements following the changes) we discovered that our original districts had certain precincts that sat in more than one commissioner district.”
And while it is legal to split a precinct between two commissioners, Arrowsmith said it makes it much easier to have each precinct in one commissioner district and that the new redistricting also tidies up some other boundary issues.
In addition to ensuring that there would be just one commissioner per precinct, the changes move the Highlands Ranch Open Space Conservation Area on the southwest side of Highlands Ranch from Commissioner Roger Partridge’s southern District 2 into Commissioner Jill Repella’s District 3, with the rest of Highlands Ranch.
The Rueter-Hess Reservoir, which was recently annexed into Parker, also moved out of Partridge’s district and now sits in Commissioner Jack Hilbert’s District 1, along with all other Parker addresses in the county.
“The statute requires only a balance in population,” Repella said. “It made sense to start looking at this from the standpoint of community continuity and what we can do to make sure the communities are still tied together. ... It’s nice to have (the conservation area) connected back to the community of Highlands Ranch.”
With the addition of the new precinct, there are now 145 precincts in the county. There are now 36,967 households in District 1, 36,877 in District 2 and 36,029 in District 3.
To see a map of the newly aligned precincts, visit www.douglas.co.us/elections.