New electoral district lines are due to go into effect for the Suffolk County Legislature for the 2013 election. Several principles guided the drawing of these redistricting plans proposed by the Center For Research, Regional Education & Outreach at the State University of New York at New Paltz. In drawing potential electoral maps for the legislature, the population target for each of the 18 districts in Suffolk County was 82,864.
Typically, local redistricting is done with a deviation of plus or minus 5 percent. For Suffolk that would be 4,143 people in either direction, resulting in a maximum deviation of 8,286. In the districting plan created for this project, the greatest positive deviation was 1.15 percent, and the greatest negative deviation was 0.79 percent. That is, the difference in population between the most populous district and the least populous district was kept to 1,608 people, or 1.94 percent.
In only two districts -- Districts 4 and 7 -- was the demographic profile of the area used in creating district boundaries. This was done to ensure compliance with the Voting Rights Act, a federal law that aims to make sure minority groups are adequately represented.
Suffolk County Proposed Districts:
Proposed District 1: Huntington Bay area
Corresponds with current District 18
District 1 begins in the northwest corner of Suffolk County and extends south and east. Its southern border is defined by Jericho Turnpike.
Proposed District 2: Melville, South Huntington, Elwood
Corresponds with current District 17
District 2 includes South Huntington and surrounding areas. Its southern and eastern borders are defined by the Huntington Town line.
Proposed District 3: Northport, Commack, Fort Salonga Area
Corresponds with current District 12
District 3 is a North Shore district. The boundaries mostly conform to the Census Designated Places boundaries, with the exception of its western boundaries, which were drawn splitting Kings Park along Meadow Road and Church Street. This was done because the population density and street grid indicated that they were different neighborhoods.
Proposed District 4: Amityville, East Farmingdale, Wyandanch area
Corresponds with current District 15
District 4 is a South Shore district in the southeast corner of Suffolk County. It is a demographically diverse area in the Town of Babylon that has seen a growing minority population over the past 10 years. Care was taken in drawing this district not to divide the African-American community in North Amityville, Wyandanch and Wheatley Heights.
Proposed District 5: Lindenhurst, Babylon area
Corresponds with current District 14
District 5 is a South Shore District that mostly follows Census Designated Places boundaries. It splits North Lindenhurst along Straight Path and Wellwood Avenue. It also splits Babylon to balance the population of the district. This district also includes the islands to the south.
Proposed District 6: West Islip, Deer Park, Babylon area
Corresponds with current District 16
District 16 is a South Shore district. The district lines follow the Census Designated Places boundaries with the exception of West Bay Shore, which was split to reach the population target for the district.
Proposed District 7: Brentwood area
Corresponds with current District 9
District 7 is centered on the Brentwood portion of Islip. It is a densely populated, predominantly Hispanic area. The boundaries were drawn to avoid dividing the Hispanic community in Islip.
Proposed District 8: Islip Area
Corresponds with current District 11
District 8 is a South Shore district which extends north along the Islip Town line to encompass the area west of District 7. Its western border is defined by the Connetquot River. Islip Terrace is divided by the Southern State Parkway. The west end of Fire Island, Saltaire, and Ocean Beach are included in this District.
Proposed District 9: Oakdale, Central Islip, Bohemia, Hauppauge area
Corresponds with current District 10
District 9 is a South Shore district. Its western border is influenced by the decisions made in drawing the eastern borders of Districts 7 and 8. Its eastern border splits Bohemia along Lakeland Avenue.
Proposed District 10: Smithtown, Village of the Branch, Head of the Harbor area
Corresponds with current District 13
District 10 is a North Shore district. Its borders are consistent with the Census Designated Places, picking up the portion of Kings Park that was divided by District 3 to the west. It includes Lake Grove to reach the population target.
Proposed District 11: Bayport, Holbrook area
Corresponds with current District 8
District 11 is a South Shore district. It follows Census Designated Places boundaries with the exception of the eastern boundaries which, in part, include the CDPs divided by the creation of District 9. Holtsville was included to get enough people and because of its similarities with North Patchogue.
Proposed District 12: Farmingville, Centereach, Lake Ronkonkoma
Corresponds with current District 4
District 12 boundaries are defined entirely by the Census Designated Placess, which were grouped because of their proximity and the similar distribution of population density.
Proposed District 13: Mount Sinai, Stony Brook area
Corresponds with current District 5
District 14 is a North Shore district starting at the Smithtown-Brookhaven Town line. It extends west to Mount Sinai and splits Miller Place into two sections with notably different population densities.
Proposed District 14: Coram, Medford area
No current district corresponds well with District 14.
District 14, in the center of Suffolk County, consists of similar communities in terms of street grid and density. The demographic data at the end of this section indicates that these communities are similar as well.
Proposed District 15: East Patchogue, Brookhaven, Shirley, Mastic area
Corresponds with current District 7
District 15 is a South Shore district extending from East Patchogue to the Forge River. Careful attention was paid to the street grid when drawing this district's boundaries. The south portion of Medford was included because the neighborhood is contiguous with the northwest portion of East Patchogue. The northeast section of East Patchogue was excluded because that neighborhood is in effect an extension of North Bellport. The southern portion of North Bellport is included because that neighborhood is isolated from the northern portion of North Bellport. This is an example of how the street grid can be used to identify neighborhoods.
Proposed District 16: Shoreham, Rocky Point, Yaphank, North Bellport area
Corresponds with current District 6
District 16 is a North Shore district. Its eastern border is the town line between Brookhaven and Riverhead. The southwest corners' boundaries were created in the process described in the District 15 description, and a portion of Manorville and Shirley are included to get enough people.
Proposed District 17: Riverhead, Southold, Manorville, Shelter Island area
Corresponds with current District 1
District 17 is the North Shore district for the East End of the island. Its western border is the Riverhead Town line and the Census Designated Places on the South Shore. It extends from the South Shore to the North Shore, and then west to the end of the Island including Fishers Island and Shelter Island. The portions of the district in the southwestern corner were included to balance the population deviation between Districts 17 and 18.
Proposed District 18: Southampton, Shinnecock, East Hampton area
Corresponds with current District 2
District 18 is the South Shore counterpart to District 17. Its western border was designed to balance the population deviation between the two, and the rest of its boundaries are defined either by the Riverhead Town line to the north, or by the water to the east and south.