An Opinion Piece – A Methodist Building In Center Of Town? Or Worse?

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UPDATE: Bellaire P&Z Meeting on April 13, 2023 @ 6:00 PM: Update by Page Southerland Page, Inc. on behalf of The Methodist Hospital regarding site changes for traffic flow.  Find the April meeting agenda here.   Exits for right turns only.  Find the original presentation of March 9, 2023, to P&Z here.

March 28, 2023

To the Mayor and Members of Bellaire City Council and Members of Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission

Re: Houston Methodist Application for 5130 Bellaire Blvd

Dear Fellow Residents,

I have nothing against Methodist, but I don’t want to see a huge block of a building in the center of downtown Bellaire. Those types of buildings belong on the perimeter of a small city, not in a prime location. I understood that Methodist had leased space in one of the old Chevron buildings in the NBSDD.  That would be a more suitable location.    

This is one of those choices that will seriously impact the future of Bellaire.  Please, revise the zoning for the UV-D and UV-T before this progresses any further.  It is apparent that many other Bellaire residents want a small-town atmosphere in our Town Center.  They mention Rice Village, for instance, a busy shopping and dining area mainly comprised of one and two-story buildings. 

But how is that type of site possible with the UV-D zoning ordinance for new commercial construction that requires a zero lot line setback for at least 75% of the front of the building and no parking at the front?  Plus the requirement for a minimum building height of 30 feet and 2-stories, or more.  Why the insistence on no setback and minimum space for landscaping?

The dichotomy between Bellaire residents’ opinions and the UV-D zoning ordinance should raise a red flag.  We don’t need more of those unforeseen consequences that, thanks to the approval of the H-E-B store, allowed a structure with zero lot line setback on all sides, including that extra portion of Cedar St.  

The ensuing ‘ornamental landscape’ that covers over half of the width of the 5100 and 5200 blocks of Spruce St. was billed as the creation of a ‘walkable’ downtown.  Instead several businesses moved or closed and much of the area is uninviting and unattractive.

The area within the red box is the UV-T.  Walmart on the left, Loop 610 on the right, Metro transit center upper left and Hwy 59/69 to the north.

As for the UV-T, it is apparent that area will never be a Highland Village or Uptown Houston, or a desirable location for any business seeking easy access by the public.  It’s time to make some changes there, too, including height and setbacks.

Please, put some sort of moratorium on any applications for developments in the UV-D and UV-T until Council and Planning and Zoning have discussed updates to the Comprehensive Plan and the City zoning ordinances for commercial areas.  Use common sense to address the best use for these areas in combination with residents’ visions and desires for our City.

Thank you,

Jane McNeel

Methodist Hospital P&Z Presentation Of March 9, 2023

How Are Things Going In The UV-D District?

P&Z Public Hearing: A Mixed Use Development Is Proposed In The UV-T

Please email comments, concerns, or questions to the Mayor and members of City Council via our City Clerk, Tracy Dutton, at and request that your email be forwarded to the Mayor and Council.  

About Jane McNeel

Bellaire resident since 1956. Email: Find more information on 'About This Site' in the main menu.
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