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Bonita Springs City Council takes redistricting vote

Bonita Springs City Council has approved a new district map.

There were three map alternatives brought to the council, based on 2020 census data. The first alternative had the least change to the current district map as it aimed to take population away from District 6 by expanding District 3. The second and third maps both underpopulated District 6 in anticipation of future population growth. By doing this, map alternatives two and three combined Bonita Bay and Pelican Landing into District 4.

Residents and some councilmembers had voiced concerns about alternatives two and three for months prior to the vote. However, there were feelings within the city that combining the two HOAs would be a good move for socio-economic reasons.

At the April 6 meeting, it didn’t take City Council more than five minutes of discussion to come to a vote.

Councilor Jesse Purdon said that he has been communicating with Bonita Bay and Pelican Landing to ensure equal access for residents and non-residents who engage in political activities.

“As I stated last meeting, I was open minded about this thought process and the leadership in both Bonita Bay and Pelican Landing have been very genuine in their communication with me over the last week,” Purdon said. “There are assurances for equal access for residents and non-residents.”

Councilor Mike Gibson spoke out against the way the current districts have the HOAs separated.

“I think two or three definitely fit better, but as to not upset the applecart I’m fine with going with one, but I think it’s been gerrymandered forever,” Gibson said. “I think we had a good opportunity to fix that, but I guess we can just leave it as is, so I will be voting for one.”

Council voted 7-0 in favor of alternative map one, keeping Pelican Landing in District 1 and Bonita Bay in District 4. The approved map will be in effect for the rest of this decade.