Redistricting

Updated 11/21/2022

Following the results of the 2020 Federal census, Upper Providence Township Council recognized the need for reapportionment of municipal districts to ensure equal and fair access to elected representation.  Over the course of the past several months, council has solicited public input, developed multiple map options, opened a public comment period, and held over half a dozen public meetings - including two special council meetings specifically focused on redistricting and the redistricting process. 

Feedback and public comment were received from throughout the township and, upon consideration and review of resident perspectives. During a special meeting on November 16th, Upper Providence Township Council held a First Reading of Redistricting Ordinance 543 of 2022.  This ordinance equalizes the populations of the township voting districts within the township, while creating compact and contiguous districts for current and future members of township council.  A copy of the proposed district map can be found here and council may consider the adoption of these new district lines at the next council meeting in December.

The Township underwent a similar process in the past, modifying district lines upon the results of the 1990 census.  At that time, the total population of Upper Providence Township was 9,727.  The township identified an even and ideal population division of 1,945 in each of the five council districts.  As a result of this process, the following changes were made:

1980's District Population

Precinct  Population Variance from Mean % Variance
1 1,802 -143
-7.4%
2 1,805 -140 -7.2%
3 2,159 214 11%
4 1,827
-118 -6.1%
5 2,134 189 9.7%

1990's District Population

Precinct
 Population Variance from Mean % Variance
1 1,945
0
0%
2 1,983 38 2.0%
3 1,855 -90 -4.6%
4 2,010 65 3.3%
5 1,934 -11 0.5%

Over the past 30 years, district representation has evolved due to development activity in specific areas of the township.  Based largely on available undeveloped land, 30 years of construction was not uniform, creating significant discrepancies in district population totals.  Currently, Upper Providence Township district population breakdown is as follows:

2022 - Current District Population

Precinct Current Population Variance From Mean % Variance
1 2,312 141.6 6.5%
2 2,387 216.6 10.0%
3 2,230 59.6 2.7%
4 1,785 -385.4 -17.8%
5 2,138 -32.4 -1.5%

In order to address the issue of representative equity, Council directed staff to approach Delaware County officials for support developing township district maps that more evenly distribute population.  Guidance provided by council identified four key values for consideration during the development of possible district changes:

  • Transparency
  • Timeliness
  • District Contiguity
  • Population Standardization (variance between 0% - 5% of mean).

Additional value-based considerations were presented by members of the public during Council Meetings including:


  • Neighborhood Cohesion
  • Resident Impacts

Understandably, given the limitations associated with census block constraints, applying equal weight to each of these values may create contradictory and/or impossible outcomes.  With this in mind, eight (8) different maps were developed that balance each of these values, while achieving the previously identified representative population requirements. 

Township Council held a public comment period from October 5 until October 26  to solicit feedback regarding potential redistricting options. The township also hosted an open house at the Rose Tree Fire Hall, 1275 N. Providence Road, Media, on October 17th for the public to view these maps and provide feedback. The open house offered an in-person opportunity for residents to view each potential redistricting map and provide handwritten public comment.  

Feedback and public comment were received from throughout the township and, upon consideration and review of resident perspectives. During a special meeting on November 16th, Upper Providence Township Council held a First Reading of Redistricting Ordinance 543 of 2022.  This ordinance equalizes the populations of the township voting districts within the township, while creating compact and contiguous districts for current and future members of township council.  A copy of the proposed district map can be found here and council may consider the adoption of these new district lines at the next council meeting in December.

Upper Providence Township Meetings open to the public and residents are welcome and encouraged to attend.