Woodson Protests Aquia Harbour Split
– April 15, 2011 11:30 am
North Stafford, Va. –– About 10 people showed up last night to participate in Stafford County’s mandatory political redistricting process. At the meeting held at North Stafford High School, many who spoke were concerned that the Aquia Harbour neighborhood is being split up.
As it sits now, two three sections of the neighborhood sit in the Griffis-Widewater District, and are represented by Supervisor Bob Woodson.
The remaining section of the gated community is represented by Aquia District Supervisor Paul Milde.
The new plan would place two of three sections in the Aquia District, leaving one in Woodson’s district.
All of residents who live in Aquia Harbour would be able to vote at polling places inside the community, under the proposed plan. Currently, some vote at Moncure Elementary School on Garrisonville Road (Va. 610) in North Stafford.
Though Woodson may lose two sections of Aquia Harbour, he stands to gain the Woodstream neighborhood that sits behind Stafford Marketplace shopping center on Garrisonville Road (Va. 610)
But while Woodson says he welcomes the addition of the Woodstream neighborhood (which would place more minorities in his district), splitting Aquia Harbour would place more Caucasian residents in the Aquia District.
“This plan splits up the neighborhood and puts undue strain on residents. Keeping Aquia Harbour together is what citizens want,” said Woodson.
Woodson has countered the county’s draft plan with a proposal that would keep all three sections of Aquia Harbour in his district, as well as keep the Woodstream neighborhood, but would place a sliver of land between Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 north of Va. 610 in the Aquia District.
The redistricting process, by law, requires officials every 10 years to redraw the county’s magisterial districts based on population. According to the latest Census data, Stafford County’s population as of 2010 sits at 128,961 residents.
With seven magisterial districts in the county, officials aimed at putting 18,423 residents in each district.
Stafford Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Dudenhefer, who drew the maps as part of a special committee, says the move at Aquia Harbour was based on population growth, and that residents needed to move to make districts move evenly populated.
“Stafford is very unique because, unlike other counties, we are not growing from the city side, from the north to the south, we’re growing from the north and from the south to the middle of the county,” said Dudenhefer.
The Stafford Board of Supervisors is scheduled to meet May 3 and is expected to approve the new political districts, which then must be approved by the U.S.Department of Justice.
This story has been corrected to reflect that two of three sections of Aquia Harbour are currently represented by Supervisor Bob Woodson and one section by Supervisor Paul Milde. Two of the three sections could be placed into the Aquia District as part of a proposed redistricting plan.