PENINSULA — Seaview won’t be annexed into Long Beach any time soon.
At a June 29 meeting, local leaders and Seaview residents decided to no longer consider Long Beach annexing Seaview. The meeting was hosted by the Seaview Historical Preservation Society (SHiPS) as a community discussion.
“We’re all neighbors. Just because we don’t want to be part of Long Beach doesn’t mean we don’t like Long Beach,” said SHiPS President Nansen Malin. “Basically, we’re just saying ‘No thank you.’”
Local leaders present at the meeting included County Commissioners Lisa Olsen and Frank Wolfe, Sheriff Robin Souvenir, Fire District No. 1 Chief Jacob Brundage, and the county’s Economic Development Council Executive Director Jim Sayce.
Long Beach City Administrator David Glasson and Malin held the floor for most of the event. Glasson and Malin started discussing annexation last fall, after Glasson brought it up.
“I wanted to have a meeting. Really, I didn’t think it needed to be this big of a deal right off the bat,” Glasson said.
Glasson said people have asked over the years why Long Beach hadn’t annexed Seaview.
“Long Beach always said no,” Glasson said. “After all these years, I thought, why not just talk and have a friendly discussion.”
Lack of interest
Since the annexation conversation went public in May, Seaview residents and business owners voiced their distaste for joining Long Beach.
“Zero people have stepped up to say they’re interested,” Malin said. “We don’t even have one business that’s stepped up.”
Residents emphasized their lack of interest in annexation at the meeting. Throughout the meeting, many residents left early, making comments about how the meeting wasn’t what they came for.
Many attendees also raised concerns over why the meeting was necessary and what benefit Seaview residents would get from annexation.
“Why are we even here?” questioned one attendee. “Why do we have to have a conversation if no one even wants annexation?”
The attendee asked everyone to raise their hand if they were for or against annexation. No one raised their hand when asked if they were for annexation.
“We are having this conversation because Long Beach needs to hear how Seaview feels,” Malin said.
Malin said the meeting was for asking questions and getting answers because “there’s a lot of information online and some of it’s not very helpful.”
Malin had Chief Brundage, Sheriff Souvenir, Sayce and Glasson speak during the meeting for residents to get their questions answered.
“We all want to get to the truth,” Malin said.
“I thought, when I looked across the board, that we could do equally as well of a job as Seaview,” Glasson said.
Annexing Seaview has pros and cons for both Seaview and Long Beach residents. If annexation had moved forward, many services would have needed to change for Seaview residents.
“All things equal, it probably isn’t a benefit financially,” Glasson said. “Best case, it’s a break-even.”
Glasson said Seaview would essentially stay Seaview, even if annexation happened. Not all services would change, addresses would stay the same, and residents would essentially have the same experience.
However, tax rates could change and some services would switch to city jurisdiction instead of county. Seaview residents would also be able to participate and apply for Long Beach City Council and other city leadership roles.
“Seaview has its own identity. Seaview would stay Seaview,” Glasson said. “Nothing would change that you wouldn’t already be able to do in the county.”
Glasson emphasized that if annexation wasn’t something Seaview residents want, that the city wouldn’t force it to happen.
“To me, we’re neighbors. Is there something we can do that would benefit both of us? If there’s not, then let’s not do it,” Glasson said.
Could it have even happened?
Had Seaview residents said they wanted to move forward with the annexation conversation, Long Beach would have needed to adopt Seaview into its urban growth area (UGA). A UGA is a boundary created by cities, which is used to manage urban development.
Seaview and Long Beach have their own UGAs, which means Seaview would have needed to be re-designated to be under Long Beach’s UGA. From there, annexation could happen through property valuation, petition by registered voter, or through an interlocal agreement.