PENINSULA — Seaview and Long Beach officials recently published information on what annexation of Seaview could look like.
Information packets were recently published by the city of Long Beach and the Seaview Historical Preservation Society (SHiPS). The packets come before a SHiPS-sponsored meeting on June 29.
At the meeting, Seaview community members will meet with city and county government to discuss annexation. The meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, 115 Lake Street SE.
“It’s meant to just be a conversation,” said Long Beach City Administrator David Glasson.
The SHiPS information packet was put together by Seaview residents and business owners. The packet goes over several resident questions, including topics like Fire District #1, dune development, Long Beach city codes, and utilities.
The Long Beach packet was created by Glasson. The packet includes some of his opinions and research on annexation, budget estimates, utility estimates, and information on different services that would possibly change for Seaview residents.
Both documents are available at www.chinookobserver.com.
How did we get here?
Glasson started exploring the possibility of annexing Seaview after reviewing Long Beach’s growth management plan. He said the conversation between the two towns is to explore if annexation would benefit Seaview and Long Beach.
“We don’t want to appear like we’re forcing this,” Glasson said. “This is exploratory. That’s all this is supposed to be.”
Glasson said the meeting’s goal will be to see if the positives of annexation would outweigh the negatives.
“If there’s no reason to do this, then we don’t want to,” Glasson said.
Other reasons Glasson started his research include realizing he has many friends in Seaview; Long Beach considering to replicate Seaview architecture; Long Beach providing water service to Seaview; and Long Beach Police Department driving through Seaview to cover Ilwaco.
Glasson brought up the concept of annexation to Mayor Jerry Phillips, other city and county leaders, and Seaview residents.
“I would estimate half the responses started with why, the other half could see some merit,” Glasson said. “It was just enough merit that kept me thinking about how to solve some nagging issues.”
Not a simple switch
There’s a variety of issues that would need to be addressed if Seaview was annexed into Long Beach. Some concerns include how to keep Seaview and Long Beach separate while under the same city, what government services would change for Seaview residents, and how services would be impacted for residents.
Growth management is another major concern. Long Beach and Seaview both have their own urban growth areas (UGAs).
A UGA is a boundary created by cities, which is used to manage urban development.
Basically, cities use UGAs to determine what aspects of the city will be preserved for nature and agriculture, and what areas will be available for housing and other development.
State law would require Seaview to be adopted under Long Beach’s UGA before annexation could happen. If Seaview’s UGA was switched, there are three likely scenarios for annexation, Glasson said.
Annexation could happen via petition by property valuation, petition by registered voter, or through an interlocal agreement.
Pros and cons
Annexation would bring changes to both Seaview and Long Beach.
In Long Beach, service levels could be impacted to current residents. Long Beach money would also likely go toward Seaview for infrastructure improvements and maintenance.
Annexing Seaview would create more opportunities for Peninsula residents to participate in local government. Also, more residents could provide the city with input on issues, policies and decisions.
Seaview would see the biggest changes. There would likely be changes for emergency services and law enforcement. Seaview would change from being unincorporated to incorporated, meaning residents would typically go to Long Beach City Hall for help, instead of the county.
Utilities, the number of taxes and tax rates would also likely change. How this would look hasn’t yet been officially determined.
Seaview residents, property owners and business owners are encouraged to attend Saturday’s meeting. Representatives for Pacific County, Fire District #1 and the city of Long Beach will be at the meeting to answer questions.