After months of revisions, Seaside’s City Council unanimously approved a plan to bring two properties into the city’s boundary. The annexation marks the end of one phase of the process begun with the passage of a $99.7 bond for a new school campus, approved by voters in 2016. The decision enables the school district to proceed with infrastructure like water, sewage and roads.
The property, located at 2000 Spruce Drive, includes the residential portion of the existing Seaside Heights Elementary School site outside the wetlands zone. Superintendent Sheila Roley and members of the construction represented the district.
“Tonight, City Council approved annexation of our property into the city of Seaside, which allows us to move forward with the next steps on building our schools,” Roley said after the meeting. “It also gives the city jurisdiction in that area now that we are annexed in. It is one great step forward in the cooperative effort between the city and the citizens and the school district and our partners to get our kids into a high-quality school in a safe place.”
Before voting in favor of the ordinance, Councilor Tita Montero asked school district representatives for regular and in-person updates. She also sought greater detail on traffic studies and parking.
“We have a lot of issues in getting it done with the least impact on the citizens of that neighborhood,” Mayor Jay Barber said. “We’ll get there, and this is the next step in that process, to annex that property. Then our Planning Commission has a yeoman’s job to do in answering all these questions.”
Councilor Steve Wright called the ordinance a first step. “This is a huge project,” he said. “From looking at the (city’s) past, there’s never been anything of this magnitude. We’ve got to work together, and we’re well on our way.”
Barber, Wright, Montero and councilors Dana Phillips, Tom Horning and Seth Morrisey voted for the ordinance. Randy Frank was absent.
Next comes the submission of a campus master plan followed by Planning Commission review.
“We’ll be focusing on system development,” Roley said. “Power, sewer, water and roads. I’ve been working with the city for a number of months on what that would like.”
Traffic remains a concern, she said. Urban renewal funds could generate money for future improvements. Funds from the sale of existing school buildings could add facilities to the campus plan.
“Many of those things will be able to be accomplished before the opening of the school,” Roley said. “It’s part of the continued development of the community to be a great place to live. It doesn’t stop with us. We have a lot of great things to look forward to.”
The building master plan will be discussed at the March Planning Commission meeting.
Architects anticipate the design phase to reach in June, when construction could begin. The campus is slated for opening in the fall of 2020.