I woke up this morning in the quiet tranquil neighborhood that I have been fortunate enough to call home for the last three decades only to discover that we are under siege from forces beyond our control. This is not a weather event or raising ocean levels, it’s the ambition of our neighboring community that has once again turned its sights on our lovely streets, seeing only an untapped tax revenue stream.
The reason that real estate agents will tell you Seaview properties are the most sought after in the region is because of the incredible specialness and unique nature of these quiet shady streets. When we first saw Seaview in 1988 we were immediately struck by the sheer density of period homes from the 1880s through the 1930s. There are many heritage sites across this nation that have far fewer period architectural examples than exist here in Seaview. The preservation of these homes was never state sponsored or grant supported, it exists solely because of the pride and integrity of the homeowners. Homeowners that have maintained these precious homes rather than tear them down and recognized early on that retaining the quality and charm of their little town was something worth fighting for.
Decades ago Dr. John Campiche cautioned me that the fight to maintain Seaview’s individuality would be ongoing and that the forces of development and commerce would never go away: “They may pause for a breath but they will never stop.” Once again, his words ring true. Long Beach has revisited this plan numerous times over the last 20 years. It seems that every time their ambitions exceed their coffers they look towards Seaview and imagine they can simply strip off the most valuable property in our community, claim it as their own and bask in the increased tax revenue. During these years I’ve watched neighbors, with nothing in common beyond their love of Seaview, come together time and time again to swat away interlopers and developers that have, through a desire for greater profits, wanted to alter the character of our community.
Just one request. Please leave us alone.