Author Archives: Jane McNeel

P&Z Wll Consider 3 PD Applications For The NBSDD, The Former Chevron Site

Update 11/24/2021:  P&Z essentially approved the three applications at the November 18th meeting, with an agreement to add some clarifications or conditions.  The Chairman will draft a written agreement for approval.  Once the P&Z process is complete the applications will … Continue reading

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City Council Election And More Possible Changes At City Hall

November 2, 2021 – Election Results – Bellaire Mayor and City Council Three Council seats were in play in the November election, and two have declared winners.  Two of a slate of three candidates, Winfred Frazier and Ross Gordon, will … Continue reading

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Trying To Deconstruct The Bellaire City Budget

UPDATE: The City of Bellaire Budget FY2022 was adopted on September 20, 2021. Interpreting the budget doesn’t get any easier.  Please take some time to review these pertinent items.  Better yet, grab a cup of coffee and review the Adopted … Continue reading

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How Are Things Going In The UV-D District?

This article was initially inspired by my queries to the City concerning the “ornate” street lights along the 5100-5200 blocks of Spruce St and Fifth St along H-E-B. “What lights?”, you may ask.   The ones purchased in 2018 but never … Continue reading

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Any Thoughts On Short Term Rentals In Bellaire?

UPDATE 8/3/2021: A vote on the agenda item was postponed after it became apparent that only Councilmembers Lewis and Hotze felt the ordinance was justified at this time.  Towards the end of the meeting Bellaire’s City Attorney, Alan Petrov, confirmed … Continue reading

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Some Thoughts On The Orations By Members Of City Council Re The Proposed NBSDD

UPDATE May 25, 2021: The new zoning ordinance was approved by a 4 to 3 vote on May 24, 2021. The May 3, 2021, the City Council meeting ended after almost 5-1/2 hours.  The proposed language for the new zoning … Continue reading

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UPDATE on Public Hearing Before City Council – Proposed Zoning For The Old Texaco/Chevron Property

UPDATE 5/5/2021: After another 5 hour marathon session on May 3rd, this matter has been postponed.  A date will be set for a Special Session for City Council to continue consideration on the proposed language for the the new NBSDD. … Continue reading

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Bellaire City Library’s 70th Anniversary!

In May of 2021 the Bellaire City Library will celebrate 70 years of service to Bellaire residents. In January of 1951 a committee was named from the Bellaire Women’s Civic Club for the formation of a Bellaire Library. The Friends … Continue reading

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The Parking Lot At 4300 Bellaire Blvd Will Soon Be Gone!

The City of Bellaire has reached an agreement with the developers of Southside Commons regarding the parking lot illegally permitted and built on the CenterPoint property at the entrance to the City.  The lot will be removed by our Public … Continue reading

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Bellaire’s Timeline For Water Service + CenterPoint Update 2-19-2021

The City distributed this information on the lack of City water on February 17, 2021.  Frozen pipes were not the main problem, and this information was helpful: We are aware that there has been a lot of confusion regarding the … Continue reading

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Why Would Bellaire Pay Over $400,000 For Building Officials?

What Happened To Our Building Officials? Update 6/10/2021: The City has hired a new building official,building official, and plans examiner.  Development Services should be fully staffed. For some reason the City of Bellaire has chosen not to hire, or even … Continue reading

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Is Bellaire Ready For The Cost, Uncertainty Of Turning Over Wastewater Treatment To Houston And Demolition Of Our Wastewater Treatment Plant?

UPDATE 1/25/2021: Updates On Current Events UPDATE 10/21/2020: City Council voted 5-2 to approve a 1% match in the $65 million dollar CDBG-MIT grant application at the October 19, 2020, meeting.  The application includes the demolition of our wastewater treatment … Continue reading

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HISD Baseball Field Layout and Conditions – November 2, 2020

This is from the Mayor’s blog, 11/10/2020.  A modified design and 20 conditions: 

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A Lawsuit, HISD Fields, Our WWTP.2, The Siemens Contract, And Evelyn’s Park. Good grief!

The action never stops, no wonder we ordinary Bellaire citizens can’t keep up!  Read this post item by item, or drop down to your area of interest.  All of this affects our future.   

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What’s The Point Of Our Urban Village-Downtown?

On August 20, 2020, Bellaire’s Board of Adjustment voted NO, 4 to 2, on a request from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts for a variance in the zoning of the UV-D to construct a new one-story building at their current location at … Continue reading

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P&Z Hearing 8/13/20 – Update 9/4/20 – The Parking Lot At 4300 Bellaire Boulevard

UPDATE 9/4/2020: A Public Hearing was held on Thursday, August 13, 2020, before the Planning and Zoning Commission, for the parking lot at 4300 Bellaire Blvd. I counted twenty speakers opposed the zoning request, no one spoke in favor. The … Continue reading

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Not Interested In Bellaire’s Proposed FY2021 Budget? How About A $6 Million Dollar Dog Pound?

Bellaire’s Municipal budgets are dry and hard to digest.  Lots of verbiage, numbers, graphs, etc.  It’s understandable that most residents don’t spend time reviewing them, and so may have missed the $6 million dollar Dog Pound that was added to … Continue reading

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51 Trees May Be Removed From The Gordon Elementary Campus

UPDATE 11/11/22020:  Council has approved the 2-field plan but with numerous conditions. Find those conditions and the new layout here. UPDATE: The public hearing by City Council for this application has been postponed to sometime in August 2020 or whenever … Continue reading

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A Status Construction Owner Spoke At City Council

Public Comments at the July 6, 2020, Council meeting included a call from Raquel Boujourne, the owner and president of A Status Construction LLC, the contractor responsible for the Spruce/Fifth project.  Ms. Boujourne stated that her company has been blamed … Continue reading

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Bellaire After The Virus Shutdown – In Transit and On Hold

City of Bellaire Economics in 2020 – A New Paradigm The economic damage from the current health crisis is alarming, and the City of Bellaire anticipates a decrease in revenues FY2020.  At the April 6, 2020, City Council meeting Council … Continue reading

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Open Letter – Bolivar, A Double Standard. Is It Time For A Change?

February 17, 2020 Dear Mayor Friedberg and members of City Council,                                               The City Manager’s weekly memo of 2/14/20 … Continue reading

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Bellaire City Council – A 5 Hour Marathon

The January 27, 2020, council meeting, the second of the year, was eventful – and long.  After discussing and approving various ordinances, some passing after minor tweaks, the meeting moved on to Items for Consideration.     

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Bellaire City Manager Addresses A Problem With Fraudulent Surety Bonds

In a recent weekly memo on 1/10/2020 Bellaire City Manager Paul Hofmann explained that last Fall it was discovered that the surety bonds provided by A Status Construction, LLC for three (3) City bond projects, totaling over $6.5 million dollars, … Continue reading

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ARKK References For A Status Construction – We Have A Problem!

On January 30, 2019, Bellaire’s City engineer James Andrews of ARKK Engineers recommended a company new to Bellaire, A Status Construction, LLC, as qualified to run several construction projects funded by the 2016 bond issue, including the $2.5 million Spruce/Fifth … Continue reading

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Hopes For A New Year And A New Bellaire City Council

It’s time for some thoughtful reflection on our recent City Council elections.  I believe the election results revealed that our Mayor and recent Council members had lost the trust of both residents and local businesses while following the lead of … Continue reading

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P&Z – HISD Sport Fields and AT&T Bissonnet @ 6400 Loop 610 – UPDATE

UPDATE 12/31/2019: Notice of public hearings on January 9, 2020, for applications from HISD for revisions to the proposed sports fields at the old Gordon Elementary site on Bissonnet and from Cushman & Wakefield, on behalf of Southwestern Bell Telephone … Continue reading

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A Quick Update On The November 5th Election and December Runoff

UPDATE 12/14/2019:  The results of the Bellaire Runoff Election are in.  The new City Council members are Nathan Wesely for Position 4 and Jim Hotze for Position 6, joining Catherine Lewis on City Council in January, 2020.  Here’s the Agenda.

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Why Has Bellaire, Our City of Homes, Become A Target For Commercial Developers?

Scan the most recent posts on this site.  You’ll find articles on developer requests to rezone numerous Bellaire properties.  Not requests to construct developments that comply with current zoning, but to change it.  These developers want more, in essence to … Continue reading

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4800 Fournace Place – P&Z Meetings – UPDATES

UPDATE 12/17/19: No decisions at 12/12/19 on SLS Properties, 4900 Fournace.  The next step is the meeting in January, 2020. Environmental issues are still a high priority with residents, as well as the scale of the proposed development.  Click for … Continue reading

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Bellaire Council’s Careless Oversight – $6.5 Million Dollars of Bond Funds

UPDATE: March, 2020 – Still no actual list of responses to reference checks from the City of Bellaire.  A logical deduction: perhaps none were made, no one was contacted, or perhaps the responses were not positive. An Open Letter to … Continue reading

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If Bellaire Can Afford A $280,000 EMS Ambulance, Why Not A Ford Pickup Truck?

Is anyone else curious about the disparity between the proposal to purchase a new EMS ambulance for $280,000, and the fact that Bellaire leases other City vehicles instead of purchasing them?

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ChristChurch Presbyterian in Bellaire Is For Sale

ChristChurch Presbyterian, at the corner of Bellaire Blvd and South Rice Avenue, is for sale.  Originally established as a Presbyterian church in 1919, Bellaire Presbyterian merged with Braeburn Presbyterian in 2006.  According to Bellaire history the current red brick sanctuary … Continue reading

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The Sky’s The Limit! At Least For Now…

Two Bellaire residents spoke at the City Council meeting on Monday, October 21, 2019, expressing their concern about a new residential construction in their area that is elevated about 10 to 12 feet off the ground.  See the photo at … Continue reading

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Did Bellaire Voters Miss The Fine Print in the 2016 Bond Election?

My Comments at City Council on September 16, 2019: Good Evening, Mayor and City Council, I realize that you would prefer that we simply support you in your approval of this budget. That we hand you and the City Manager … Continue reading

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Where Do We Stand On The $12.8 Million Siemens Contract?

Have you received notification of the free Aquahawk Alerting system? Dealt with a water leak not far from your new water meter? Do you even know that you have a new water meter?  Or what an Aquahawk is? 

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Bellaire – Back to Basics? Sounds Like A Plan!

“The plan takes care of “the basics” by repeatedly reinforcing the fundamental importance of neighborhood integrity in the City of Homes, as well as the priority residents place on parks and recreation opportunities, safe streets, and preservation of a small-town … Continue reading

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Bellaire Budget FY2020 – And The City Manager’s Hit List!

Apparently the sky’s not really falling, since the proposed budget FY2020 presented by the City Manager increases expenditures in every major area and includes a million dollars for him to use to plan the next bond issue.  Including the proposed … Continue reading

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Bellaire’s Future & the Status of the 2016 Bond Funds

Click the graphic at left to review the 8 page draft of the end product from the recent City Council Workshop. It is a 5-year priority plan distributed by the City Manager, and a lot for citizens to digest.  For most … Continue reading

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Council Meeting March 4, 2019 – “Vote No Bonds” and A Raise For City Manager

The Council meeting on March 4th was a quiet affair with one highlight – local resident Dan Sebesta registered his objections to having his engineering qualifications questioned by the the City Manager.  The highlight of his talk was his sign: … Continue reading

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Cost Savings Won’t Lower The City’s Debt – See A Debt Comparison Courtesy Of The Texas Comptroller

Cost Savings and Future Costs Council sang the praises of city staff at the January 7, 2019 council meeting for some cost savings – the cost for change orders for the Municipal Facilities was reduced to $302,516.  So far the … Continue reading

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About Those Bids for Spruce and Fifth + Maple and Bolivar

UPDATE 2/18/2019:  Find the breakdown for the final proposed cost of $5,200,890.50 for the Spruce/Fifth ($2.5 million) and Maple/Bolivar ($1.76 million) projects – plus $1 million to the engineering companies.   About 10% of the 2016 bond issue.  The project was … Continue reading

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A Sidewalk Petition and Some Fireworks at the January 28th Council Meeting!

The January 28, 2019, City Council meeting went off like a rocket and just kept climbing. A link to the video of the meeting is available at the end of this article.  Please watch the video, you’ll find it interesting.

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A New Addition To The Menu: Our Environment

Find information on Bellaire’s recycling program.  The wrong items in our recycle bins cost us money!  Find tips on other forms of recycling via the Our Environment tab on the menu. A Holiday Note: Did you know that MOST wrapping paper is … Continue reading

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2019 Budget is Adopted – Future Bond Program Planning Session – A Possible $47 million Bond Issue in 2019

  The Bellaire City Council, City Manager, and City staff discussed the possibility of another bond issue in 2019.  The amount proposed by City staff is $47 million.  A second bond issue in 2022 was also mentioned, at this point … Continue reading

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Answer The Call For A Referendum on Sidewalks

Call for Referendum To Require a Vote on Sidewalks! SidewalkChoice was founded by a group of Bellaire residents who feel the $55 million dollar 2016 Bonds for Better Bellaire bond issue left out important facts about how the funds would … Continue reading

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What Happened To That $54 Million Dollars?

In response to requests for a printed version of my comments at the October 15, 2018 Council meeting I am posting it below: Good Evening Mayor, City Council, and Citizens,

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