HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Four redistricting plans were formally introduced at the Huntsville City Council meeting Thursday night. One was designed by the City, the other three by members of the public.
City officials said redrawing city council and school board district lines is necessary every 10 years after a census count and it is especially important in 2021 because Huntsville’s population grew by 20% over the past decade.
Of the four proposed plans, one was developed by the City of Huntsville Administration with input from City departments, the council and public feedback.
“I want to thank the members of the Redistricting Team who have worked tirelessly with the public, Council and Administration to get us to this point,” Mayor Tommy Battle said. “I’m confident the Council will choose the plan that best represents all of Huntsville.”
The other three were developed and submitted by members of the public at one of the five public meetings held in October and November at City Hall.
All of the plans can be viewed below:
The council plans to adopt a final redistricting plan at the next meeting on Thursday, December 16.
Those who would like to learn more about the redistricting process can visit the City of Huntsville’s redistricting page.
Also discussed at the meeting was the acceptance of $30 million from the Alabama Department of Transportation to help fund a new state highway that will run from Pulaski Pike to Highway 431.
“This is something that’s very good for this city, it’s good for north Huntsville. I could potentially see a day when someone lives in Hampton Cove could drive to Research Park without having to fight the traffic in the Medical District and could basically bypass it and come around,” Councilmember Bill Kling said about the project.
One of the more controversial items on the night’s agenda was a change to the city’s noise ordinance. The ordinance gives businesses in the Arts and Entertainment Districts an extra hour for outside live music on weekends, expanding the hours from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Councilmembers Jennie Robinson and Francis Akridge expressed concern that the change may lead to businesses outside the Entertainment Districts wanting to do the same.
“My concern is that this is to go beyond those entertainment districts and I can’t support it,” Robinson said.
The ordinance ultimately passes in a three to two vote.
Robinson added that she wants assurance that Huntsville Police and the city’s Natural Resources Team will be enforcing the noise ordinance. The change also gives businesses the chance to start open later on New Years Eve.