The Town Council of Cheverly, a small Prince George's municipality, adopted a redistricting plan Tuesday night to settle a voting-rights lawsuit alleging discrimination against black residents.

The town of 5,721, last redistricted in 1963 when it was overwhelmingly white, is now virtually evenly divided between white and black residents. However, the population is divided unequally among its six wards, and there is now one black member on the six-member council. Under the new redistricting plan, there is a likelihood of three black members, attorneys and town officials said.

"I feel good about it," said Kevin L. Alexander Sr., 35, a black resident on whose behalf the American Civil Liberties Union filed the suit in federal court after he lost an election to the Town Council last year.

"I'm very happy with the Town of Cheverly," said Alexander, a respiratory therapist and a resident since 1987. "It's a very good community overall."

Alexander's voting rights suit was the first brought in the Washington suburbs by the ACLU, which has mounted successful similar actions on the Eastern Shore and in Annapolis in the last few years. The Cheverly suit was the first of what may be a series of challenges in suburban Washington, according to C. Christopher Brown, president of the Maryland ACLU chapter.

Brown said the ACLU will wait for the results of the 1990 Census, due out in the spring, before deciding what municipalities to target.

A 1988 house count in Cheverly showed Ward 6 with more than 40 percent of the town's dwellings and a black majority, while Ward 4, which is almost totally black, had only 3.5 percent of the houses. Under the newly approved plan, each of the six wards will contain between 336 and 379 houses.

"It's a fair solution, fairly arrived at," said Cheverly Town Attorney Richard T. Colarese, who noted the town would officially implement it Dec. 13.

"I always felt 27 years was too long to be out of compliance with the law," said council member Fred Price Jr. (Ward 4), the only black council member and a town resident since 1972. "The action we've taken puts us back into compliance."

Now, he said, "there's the opportunity to get three blacks or minorities elected. Whether they take the opportunity and cash in on it is another story. Creating the opportunity is what it's all about."

Alexander, for one, plans to cash in. He said he intends to run again in the spring for the Ward 6 seat he lost to Patricia Glaser by 160 votes to 35.

And Glaser, who is white, plans to run again, too. "I've won before and I've lost before," she said. "Life goes on, even when you lose . . . . We are a wonderfully integrated community in all senses of the word. I think there's been some {racial tension} generated over this lawsuit, regrettably. I'm hoping that will abate and disappear. I'm relieved we've come to a resolution."