Submission of New Map for Irvine Districting Process

Retrieved August 22, 2023 at 9:00 p.m.

Please find listed below a link to my new map (Michelle Johnson – Map #3) to be considered for the City of Irvine districting process. I previously submitted a map with commentary and would like to include my reasons for this new map. I would also like clarification as to why my comments were not included with my last map. It was my understanding that all comments would be included and published but I was only able to locate my map and none of my email commentary.
After reviewing the 6 focus maps and the 3 new NDS maps after the July 11, 2023, City Council Meeting, I considered Map 144 as the closest map as representative of the City of Irvine as well as meeting the requirements that NDS set out for the Federal, State and districting process. My rationale for choosing Map 144 as a base are as follows:
1.    The City of Irvine is based on a Master Plan that is now in the final phases of build out. The Village concept of unique neighborhoods has created a network of complementary villages each with its own distinct qualities.  Many of the maps submitted had more than one Village divided either in half or even in thirds.  Map 144 had the least amount of these divisions. After reviewing Map 144, I was able to create less divisions among the Villages and in fact I was able to unite almost all of University Park which for some reason seemed to end up as the most divided Village on most maps. Keeping the Villages intact addresses the issue of neighborhoods and communities of interest. Dividing neighborhoods or targeting a specific area of Irvine as “newer” and therefore more amenable to division is simply false. In my area, everyone I’ve spoken with wants the Villages to be kept in tact.
2.    Several Maps divided North Irvine where I live into what I would consider noncontiguous areas. For example, there is no neighborhood or community between Orchard Hills and Walnut Village. They are not even in the same school district (Orchard Hills is in 2 school districts) and there is no commonality among the two very distinct areas. North Irvine is generally considered north of Irvine Boulevard not north of the 5 Freeway which the latter is the old dividing line before most of the northern sphere development took place. There is no realistic way to unite all of North Irvine due to population constraints and I agree that the area is too large for one district. But there is no rationale for plotting areas in the North such as Orchard Hills and West Irvine with farther south communities of even Westpark. Keep North Irvine in the two districts it should have.
3.    Several maps also put the Great Park into a larger District which spanned all the way to Bommer Canyon and Turtle Rock/Turtle Ridge. I believe the residents of the Great Park have made it clear over the past several years that they do not feel represented and would in fact desire their own District. If you allocate Portola Springs into the Great Park it can in fact have it’s own District and it should.
4.    The changes as I’ve proposed to Map 144 are as follows:
  • I’ve reunited most of University Park as that community seems to be the most divided among the maps submitted. I only carved out one small apartment complex at the end of University Park to balance the population in Turtle Rock. Many residents I spoke with that live in University Park are adamantly opposed to any main division of their community.
  • I put all of Irvine Business Complex with UCI and put Rancho San Joaquin into the same district as University Park. I would argue that this makes more sense versus dividing up IBC and that Rancho San Joaquin has more commonality with University Park than UCI.
  • I put all of Westpark I into the District with Walnut and El Camino Real and allocated WestPark II into the Woodbridge/University Park District. I used to live in WestPark II and that area has far more in common with Woodbridge than WestPark I.
  • I reunited Cypress Village and to balance the population put a small portion of residential at the bottom of Lower Peters Canyon (this is a Planning Area designation and not a Village) into the Walnut Village/El Camino Real District . This made more sense to me as this small residential area sits on the other side of the 5 Freeway but actually is just a block from Walnut Village. Most of Lowers Peters Canyon is Northpark and Northpark Square both of which belong in the northern most District with Orchard Hills.
I believe with these changes outlined above, this new Map is the best map we can draw at this point in time to represent the people and the Villages in which they live.
Please let me know if you have received this information and also, if you are assigning numbers to submitted maps ahead of the City Council meeting on September 12, 2023, I would like to know what the number of my new map will be.  If you have any questions, please contact me at this email…  I am traveling during September, but I will be attempting to call into the Council meeting to make a comment on this important issue.