FINAL UPDATE 7/12/2022: At the third meeting before City Council to address the SUP application from Salad And Go the motion to approve the application was denied by a unanimous vote of 7-0. You can watch the meeting here.
UPDATE: The July 11, 2022 Council meeting begins at 5:30 PM. Find the Agenda here: Agenda for July 11, 2022 @ 5:30 PM – Regular Session begins with a Closed Meeting re City Manager; then interviews for boards and commissions; finally on to usual Agenda items.
Agenda item I addresses Unfinished Business regarding the Salad And Go (SAG) Special Use Permit application. Included in the attachments is a Written Protest signed by neighbors within 200 feet of the property. The Protest meets the Code of Ordinances requirement, therefore approval of the SAG will require six (6) votes on Council.
Section 24-617 reads that “In the event of a written protest against such change, signed by the owners of twenty percent or more either of the area of the lots or land included in such proposed change, or of the lots immediately adjoining the same and extending two hundred (200) feet therefrom, such amendment shall not become effective except by the favorable vote of three-fourths of all of the members of the City Council. In computing the percentage of land area, the area of streets and alleys shall be included in the computation.”
The total square footage of the lots immediately adjoining 5201 Bellaire Boulevard and extending two hundred (200) feet therefrom was calculated to be 135,205. Property owners signing the petition represented 43.4% of the total square footage (58,688 square feet); therefore, the petition is deemed valid and a favorable vote of three-fourths of the members of the City Council is necessary to grant the requested specific use permit.
Some Background On This Application
As of June 21, 2022: A number of Bellaire residents have expressed their opposition to a drive-through salad business, Salad and Go, proposed for 5201 Bellaire Blvd at the corner of Fifth St. The company advertises itself as a “drive-through revolution” and the plan is for vehicles to enter from Bellaire Blvd and exit onto Fifth St. No indoor dining area is propsed. Does this fit the permitted use in the CMU District that allows cafeterias and restaurants? Consider item B.(1) c) of the CMU ordinance under Permitted Uses: Commercial uses, as follows, not to include any drive-in or drive–through facilities without Specific Use Permit Approval, or head shops. Why allow them at all?
After a Public Hearing was held before Planning and Zoning on March 10, 2022, P&Z approved the application on April 14th with some conditions and the application moved on to City Council for a Public Hearing. That Hearing was held on June 6, 2022, find a link to that P&Z meeting here.. For unknown reasons the principals of the business did not attend the Hearing, and it was postponed to the June 20, 2022, Council meeting.
A principal of Salad And Go was on hand for the June 20th meeting. He submitted a revised site plan and answered questions from the Mayor and Council members. Traffic would enter off Bellaire Blvd, exit to Fifth St, find the site plan at the left. Find a link to that meeting video here. The is about 56 minutes into the meeting, click on the item link to view all of the application and the written comments from residents. Oral comments were not allowed at the June 20th meeting.
After a lengthy discussion, Council decided by a vote of 4 to 2, with one member absent, that they would hold another public hearing on the application. Many of the residents who opposed the project were in attendance and were not happy with this decision. They have already expressed concerns about the location adjacent to residences, traffic flow to the surrounding neighborhood, long lines that could lead to vehicles backed up on Bellaire Blvd, the 6:30 AM to 9:00 PM hours of operation, and lights and noise. Now they have to go through the entire process again.
My suggestion is to send all comments to the Mayor and members of City Council via Tracy Dutton firstname.lastname@example.org and ask her to forward to them. Speak out at meetings during Public Comments. Let your elected officials know of your concerns.