Jurupa Valley leaders have given preliminary approval for new city council district boundaries which they say will largely keep neighborhoods intact while balancing the population.
The plan, which the Jurupa Valley City Council reached consensus on Thursday, Feb. 17, aims to ensure equal representation by moving some of the rapidly growing District 2 population along Highway 15 to districts 1 and 3 to the east.
Final approval is expected in April, which would set the stage for municipal elections in November. Three of the five seats will be elected – in Districts 1, 3 and 5.
The Jurupa Valley, like other towns in the Inland Empire, is set to redraw borders after a decade of growth that was captured in the 2020 census. Jeff Simonetti, a consultant for the National Demographics Corporation, said the population Jurupa Valley has grown from 94,943 in 2010 to 105,456 in 2020, and that there is now a 29% difference between the populations of the largest and smallest districts.
The council considered three maps to rebalance the population between the districts. The card they chose is number 101.
Mayor Chris Barajas said he was in favor of this map, saying it did the best job of keeping communities together, “where the other two really divide a lot of things on the east side.” This is particularly important in the Jurupa Valley, he said.
“We call ourselves a community of communities,” Barajas said, adding that there are at least nine that have their own distinct identities.
Barajas said by phone Friday, Feb. 18, communities in the Jurupa Valley include Sunnyslope, Indian Hills, Pedley, Mira Loma, Belltown, Rubidoux, Glen Avon, Crestmore Heights and Jurupa Hills.
Council member Brian Berkson requested that communities be labeled on the selected map before council addresses the issue, so members can clearly see where the boundary lines are and how they affect individual wards. .
The Jurupa Valley drew its current district boundaries in August 2017, when the city moved from general representation to regional representation.
Council held the third of four required public hearings on the boundary readjustment on Thursday, following the first two in October and December.
The next hearing is set for March 17, when council is due to vote for the first time on an ordinance that would set the proposed boundaries. The ordinances must be approved twice and the final map is expected to be adopted on April 7. Simonetti said the city faces an April 17 deadline to complete the process.