Author Archives: Jane McNeel

About Jane McNeel

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

City Council June 3, 2024: Public hearing – Application filed by Treehouse Learning Centers, LLC

Update 6/5/2024: The request for the SUP was approved. Public hearing on an application filed by Treehouse Learning Centers, LLC, for a Specific Use Permit to expand into and operate a day care center on an approximately 6,500 square foot … Continue reading

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A Public Hearing On A Variance For Bissonnet @ Loop 610 Was Held By P&Z On May 9, 2024

Find earlier information on this park-like property and the developer who purchased it in this post from 2020: Another Developer Wants A Variance – For 1.99 Acres on Bissonnet @ 610.   Now the owner, Bissonnet Street Ventures LLC, is … Continue reading

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Bellaire Is Facing Increasing Costs For Water And Wastewater Services

Costs for Bellaire city services will continue to increase.  Personnel, equipment replacement and repair, maintenance, disposal of solid waste and recycling, purchase of water from the City of Houston, and more. Per the May 13th presentation, the American Water Works … Continue reading

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Bellaire City Council on May 6 – Oh My! Finance 101, Solar Panels, $$$ For Holly Street Trail And More!

UPDATE 5/8/2024: By a vote of 5 to 2 City Council approved another $115,000 for the Holly Street Trail.  They also approved the $214,000 solar panel proposal for City Hall on a 6 to 1 vote.  The tree ordinance passed … Continue reading

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Drug Business Operating In Bellaire Residence?

UPDATE 4/24/2024: Channel 11 news reported on the problems, and on a traffic stop and an arrest near the home.  Bellaire Police were called about the property at least 40 times over the past year and recovered a large amount … Continue reading

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Holly Street Trail: Over A Quarter Of A Million Dollars Spent From 2014-2020 And Residents Want More

UPDATE: Below is my post from August of 2023. Now more updates and funding are requested by Holly St residents and the matter will come before City Council in May, 2024.  The Rice University path has been there for decades, no … Continue reading

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Changes Are Coming For Bellaire’s Comprehensive Plan

First up at the April 1, 2024, was a City Council discussion to update the Bellaire Comprehensive Plan was the Pont Alba apartments, located at 4301 Bissonnet.  The current zoning for that area is R-MF, Residential Multi-Family, apartments or condominiums. … Continue reading

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Is It Time For An Updated Tree Ordinance In Bellaire?

Bellaire currently has a tree ordinance, primarily for new construction. This information can be found on the City’s website:  Does the City have a Tree Ordinance?  Yes, and it applies to construction-related situations that would require a tree disposition permit. … Continue reading

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Public Hearing March 18, 2024 – Bellaire Comprehensive Plan Update

UPDATE: 3/13/2024: A lot of questions from Council and answers by Gary Mitchell and Mike Baker. Highlights include lifestyle living, small-lot residential, no more multi-family, and R-5 zoning (townhouses). Revise the zoning for the commercial areas. Possibly do away with … Continue reading

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What About Multi-Family Developments In Bellaire?

Bellaire’s Planning and Zoning Commission held a Public Hearing on February 8, 2024, regarding the possible rezoning of the property located at 4301 Bissonnet, the Pont Alba apartments, which covers 3.4 acres.  Find the agenda and meeting video here, it’s … Continue reading

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Most Recent City Survey Results – February 2024

From the Agenda: Ron Gailey, CEO of OnPointe Insights, will report to City Council regarding the results of the 2024 Citizen Satisfaction Survey. The survey was available to residents from January 9, 2024, through February 9, 2024. The results will … Continue reading

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Little Known Facts About Relocating METRO’s Bellaire Transit Center, Plus Metro Income To The City

On December 11, 2023, Mayor Friedberg distributed an email regarding the Metro Transit Center, located in the 5100 Block of Bellaire Blvd in the City of Bellaire.  The Transit Center was approved by City Council in 1986.  Find the agreement … Continue reading

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Brief Overview Of The State of the City

Find the entire video of the Bellaire City Council Meeting of February 5, 2024, here. Highlights include current City staff, stable tax base and tax rate, debt and debt service, and much more.  Please view the meeting. Please send comments … Continue reading

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Methodist Hospital Planned Development: No Longer Headed to City Council At This Time!

2/8/2024 UPDATE:  At this time Houston Methodist has withdrawn their application for a planned development at 5130 Bellaire Blvd. 1/12/2024 UPDATE:  Last night, by a vote of 5 to1, the Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission approved a recommendation to send … Continue reading

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Draft Comprehensive Plan for Joint Meeting of Council and P&Z on January 31, 2024, Bellaire State of the City Address – February 5, 2024, Town Meeting on Comprehensive Plan, February 7, 2024

On January 31, 2024, Bellaire City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission met in a joint session for a presentation by Gary Mitchell, president of Kendig and Keast, to discuss a draft Comprehensive Plan.  Find video and the agenda … Continue reading

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Please Participate In The Bellaire Citizen Satisfaction Survey!

Just got this notice from the City of Bellaire: We are excited to announce that the Bellaire Citizen Satisfaction Survey is open! The survey is designed to gather feedback from residents on various city-provided services and issues and help us … Continue reading

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Bellaire Comprehensive Plan Open House Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The City is holding an Open House  on February 7, 2024, at 6 PM regarding possible revisions to the Comprehensive Plan.  All residents are invited! We invite you to join us for an open house to share your thoughts and … Continue reading

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2023 Election News For The City Of Bellaire – Gus Pappas Wins Election For Mayor

Gus Pappas has been elected Mayor of Bellaire. Two new Council members, Cindy Cohen Taylor and Jackie Georgiou, will join him on City Council in January, 2024. Choice Votes Percent Aaron Perry 1,419 43.01% Gus E. Pappas 1,880 56.99% Total … Continue reading

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Notice An Increase In Your Bellaire Water Bill?

A neighbor recently wondered what was going on with his water bill. I dug out a mailer that was included in our bill, which shows another increase.  We are now on what appears to be a plan for annual increases, … Continue reading

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Possible Public Hearings in 2023: BHS And Methodist Hospital’s Newest Application

Monday, December 4th, 2023 – A joint Public Hearing before Bellaire City Council and Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission regarding mitigating problems with or moving dumpsters at Bellaire High School. Monday, December 11, 2023 –  The decision to hold a … Continue reading

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Methodist Hospital Alternatives – Bellaire City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission Joint Special Session

Update: Here is the full Agenda for September 28, 2023 @ 6:00 PM Joint Special Session City Council and Planning & Zoning.  Nothing new was discussed at this meeting, apparently it was misreported as a joint session.  Methodist may be … Continue reading

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Harris Health Care Event.2; Noise Ordinance; Public Hearing On Tax Rate & FY2024 Budget

Back on August 21, 2023, Bellaire City Council voted unanimously against a request from Harris Heatlth Care for an employee event to be held at the NBSDD location, the old Chevron property along Fournace between Loop 610 and Sourth Rice. … Continue reading

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New Temporary Offices For Public Works – Renovation of Dog Pound

Mayor Friedberg announces plans for a new, temporary office location for Public Works,  The new offices will  be in leased space in an office building located in the immediate area.  Follow the link above for more information.  The Public Works … Continue reading

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Bellaire Comprehensive Plan Review – Special Session for City Council and Planning & Zoning

On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, a Special Session discussion with members of City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission will be held at 6:00 PM.  Find the full agenda here. “Presentation and discussion of results from the Bellaire Today phase … Continue reading

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Public Hearing – Bellaire FY2024 Budget – August 7, 2023

Bellaire City Council will hold a Public Hearing for the 2024 City Budget on Monday, August 7, 2023.  The bottom line for the budget is $60.8 million.  Find the PowerPoint presentation here.  Find the proposed budget FY2024, presented to Council … Continue reading

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Methodist Application Goes To City Council on July 17, 2023

UPDATE 7/19/23: City Council chose to postpone a decision on the Methodist Hospital application.  Council member Lewis stated she had counted 175 resident comments opposing the development in that location, 16 in favor, including physicians and patients.   

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No More Free Garbage Bags? Uh Oh…

Many years ago Bellaire solid waste collection was changed from containers to plastic bags. For decades bags have been distributed for free on a quarterly basis, delivered to each residence. Residents are indirectly paying for the bag expense through their … Continue reading

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Two Dog Pounds! Problem Solved.

A unanimous decision by City Council at the July 10, 2023, Council meeting finally provided a solution for our dog pound problems. Find a message from Mayor Friedberg here.  Problem Solved:  Not One Dog Pound but Two    Watch the … Continue reading

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Please Take The City’s Survey!

The City of Bellaire is conducting a survey to learn more about your preferences and opinions about Bellaire’s future and the comprehensive plan.  Please take the time to read each question before responding.  What would you like to see in … Continue reading

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P&Z: Bellaire High & The Sign Ordinance – Solar Panels – Proposed CIP

The June 9, 2023, Planning and Zoning meeting was short, but interesting.  It included a public hearing regarding proposed ordinance amendments and a presentation of the proposed 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).  Find a link to the meeting here. Public … Continue reading

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What’s Next For The Methodist Hospital Application?

Enlarge the photo for a 1954 view of Weingartens Grocery, now the Randalls site, thanks to Mike McCorkle. Find his photo history of Bellaire at www.bellairebook.com.   

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May/June 2023 Meetings – Methodist Application – Noise/Lighting Regulations – Comprehensive Plan

Bellaire City Council – Agenda for June 5, 2023 @ 6:00 PM – Public Hearing – Houston Methodist Hospital  UPDATE: View the June 5th Public Hearing here  The application may be submitted to City Council for consideration and approval on July 17, … Continue reading

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Bellaire – Is It Time To Go 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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Upcoming Public Hearings At City Council on May 15, 2023

There were three Public Hearings scheduled for Monday’s City Council meeting on May 15, 2023, at 6:00 PM.  However the Noise and Lighting hearing has been withdrawn.  The withdrawal notice mentions a possible Town Hall at a later date.  Regardless, … Continue reading

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Can You Find A Few Hours Each Week To Serve On City Council?

Have you ever given any thought to running for Bellaire City Council?  Do you want to make a difference in our community?   The City of Bellaire holds non-partisan city elections for Mayor and members of City Council in off years, … Continue reading

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How Would Bellaire Residents Feel About A Mini Ashby Highrise?

Regarding a proposed moratorium on applications for development in the commercial areas of Bellaire, our City Attorney advised City Council that such a moratorium would take many months to enact and involves specific limitations, including a demonstration that a current … Continue reading

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A Short Primer on Bellaire’s Planning and Zoning

Planning and Zoning ordinances are the result of decisions made by the Planning and Zoning Commission, comprised of Bellaire residents who volunteer to serve, and then with final approval of the ordinances by City Council. P&Z Commissioners and members of … Continue reading

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City Council on April 17, 2023 – Speed Bumps, Solar Panels, And Outdoor Lighting

Speed Bumps Requested For The 5200 Block of Cedar A public hearing before the City Council is scheduled for Monday, May 15, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., on a petition from 80% of the property owners along the 5200 block of … Continue reading

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Planning and Zoning Approves Methodist Application

At the P&Z meeting of April 13, 3023, the application by Methodist Hospital for the redevelopment of the old Randall’s site at 5130 Bellaire was approved by a by a vote of 3 to 2.  The application includes a 3-story, … Continue reading

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Bellaire Triangle Owners Offer $1.00 For Mapleridge Between Bellaire Blvd and Bissonnet

A Public Hearing Before City Council For The Closure Of A Portion Of Mapleridge Has Been Scheduled At City Hall on Monday, March 6, 2023 @ 6 PM UPDATE 4/4/2023: The applicant requested a delay on their application and staff … Continue reading

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

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 … Continue reading

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Methodist Hospital P&Z Presentation Of March 9, 2023

UPDATE 4/21/2023:  The application was approved by P&Z on a 3 to 2 vote at the April 13th meeting.  UPDATE 3/23/2023: Until a hearing is scheduled before City Council residents may continue to send their comments on this application to … Continue reading

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Positive Developments Ongoing At Bellaire City Hall

Sharon Citino, our new City Manager, is steadily filling open positions, including a new director, Travis Tanner, in Development Services.  He came to City Council meeting on February 20, 2023, to propose some much needed changes to our city ordinance … Continue reading

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Busy Bellaire P&Z Meetings Reveal Possible Application From Methodist And Ordinance Updates For Noise And Lighting

2023 has already required plenty of time and effort from the members of the Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission.   A Public Hearing Will Be Scheduled on a Proposal From Methodist for the Randalls Site During the January 23 meeting City … Continue reading

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Letter To City Council Re Bellaire Dog Pound

February 7, 2023 Dear Mayor and Members of Bellaire City Council, After the Council meeting on January 23, 2023, I drove by the location of the West University dog pound. It is situated with the City’s wastewater plant at 2801 … Continue reading

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Mayor Friedberg’s State Of The City Report, February 6, 2023

February 7, 2023 – Please take the time to view Mayor Friedberg’s February 6, 2023, presentation on the State of the City. Thanks to no floods, a new City Manager, and some fiscally conservative decisions Bellaire is doing well. Bonded … Continue reading

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First Report From Ardurra Group Hired To Oversee Regional Drainage Program for Bellaire

On December 19, 2022, Bellaire City Council approved a work order contract with Ardurra Group Incorporated (Ardurra) to manage a regional drainage improvement program.  The twelve month contract cost is not to exceed $390,795.  Ardurra will produce monthly reports for … Continue reading

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Bellaire Dog Pound Proposal To Be Presented To City Council At The Jan. 23, 2023 Meeting

UPDATE 1/24/2023:  At last night’s meeting, Bellaire City Council members agreed to postpone a decision on the location of a new dog pound.  Instead they have requested that City staff provide more information on zoning issues for the 1311 N. … Continue reading

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Bellaire Is Due To Receive Over $3 Million In Grants

Some great news!  Per the most recent Mayor’s Musings January 13, 2023: Another $3.3 Million in Grant Funding Coming Our Way A great way to start the new year, we’ve recently been informed that several of our federal and state … Continue reading

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ESB – Possible Proposal For Solar Panels On City Hall

The Environmental Sustainability Board will vote on submission of a resolution to City Council to install solar panels on the roof of City Hall at the January 4, 2023, meeting.  Click on the image above to view an earlier ESB … Continue reading

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Happy Holidays!

My sincere wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful start to 2023!   Some quick updates: The Dog Pound dilemma is scheduled to go to Council soon, probably in January. The Board of Adjustment chose … Continue reading

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City Council Held A Workshop On The Proposed Bellaire Dog Pound

City Council held a workshop on Monday, November 21, 2022,  regarding the proposed new dog pound.  Find the meeting here.  Find the presentation for a new pound by Bellaire Chief of Police Lopez here.  I encourage every Bellaire resident to … Continue reading

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O’Reilly Auto Parts Plans To Rebuild

On August 20, 2020, Bellaire’s Board of Adjustment voted NO, 4 to 2, on a request from O’Reilly 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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Councilmember’s Proposal For A Workshop On Zoning Is Sidelined

UPDATE: The discussion at the October 11, 2022 joint workshop included a decision to hire a consultant and suggestions on seeking public input, What do residents want in their commercial areas, especially the UV-D and the UV-T.   Would they prefer … Continue reading

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HISD Requests Variances For Sign Ordinances: Now Scheduled for October 20, 2022

UPDATE 10/21/2022: Because a unanimous decision was required to approve the requests the appeal for the oversized scoreboard was voted down.  However, by unanimous vote the Board of Adjustment voted in favor of additional signage at Bellaire High School even … Continue reading

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FY2023 City Of Bellaire Budget Approved

Bellaire City Council approved the final numbers for the 2023 City budget on September 19, 2022. First up was a vote to retain the current property tax rate of $ .4473, approved by 7-0.  A hearing on the tax rate … Continue reading

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Houston Methodist Architect’s Presentation For A PD On The Randalls Site

On September 8, 2022, members of the Planning and Zoning Commission were treated to a conceptual presentation for a Planned Development, a medical office building on the old Randalls grocery store site.  At right are three options proposed by Page … Continue reading

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Big Plans For The Old Randall’s Space

Realty News Report’s Michelle Smith reports that the Randall’s space at 5130 Bellaire Blvd has been leased by a group associated with Houston Methodist Hospital. Find the article here. The old grocery store, erected in the 1950s, would be demolished … Continue reading

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Renovation Plans For The Bellaire Triangle

An article in the Houston Chronicle reports that a re-design is planned for the Bellaire Triangle.  The center’s longtime owners, MC Management & Development, plan extensive renovations including the addition of an open-air space for outdoor events.  There’s no word … Continue reading

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Proposed Budget FY2023 – Q&A Items You Can Review

Presentation by City Manager at the August 15, 2022, Council meeting Video of the August 15, 2022,  Budget Public Hearing and Council meeting here Find video of the August 16, 2022, Budget Workshop #3 here – discussion of the 8/15/2022 … Continue reading

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It’s Budget Time In Bellaire! Find The Proposed Budget, Also Plans for World Trade Center Artifact

City Council – July 18 2022  Presentation of the proposed annual budget for the City of Bellaire, Texas, for the fiscal year commencing on October 1, 2022, and ending on September 30, 2023 – Submitted by Deacon Tittel, Interim City Manager. A … Continue reading

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Harris County Flood Control District: Tunnel Visions

Harris County Flood Control District is proposing a system of large diameter tunnels, 80 to100 feet underground and 30 to 45 feet in diameter, to carry flood waters to Buffalo Bayou and the Ship Channel.  The suggested location for these … Continue reading

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Bellaire Hires A New City Manager

From the Mayor’s recent article, Council has hired a new City Manager: “Following a nationwide search that attracted candidates from far and wide, we ended up finding our next City Manager just a few blocks away. A resident of Braeswood … Continue reading

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A Softball Toss To A Commercial Developer?

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:  … Continue reading

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We Lost A Valued Member Of Our Community Today, Kathy Ballanfant

With her children at her side, Kathleen Ballanfant, longtime resident and the publisher of the Southwest News and the Village News, passed away on Friday, June 24, 2022.  Kathy has been a a prominent member of the community and a … Continue reading

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It Looks Like We’re In For A Long, Hot Summer

Budget talks have begun, the City’s fiscal year begins October 1st.  The City Manager position has been in play for some time, hopefully we’ll have a new, highly qualified City Manager soon.  Meanwhile Council is currently mulling over a number … Continue reading

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HISD Baseball Field Layout and Conditions – November 2, 2020

UPDATE – June, 2022: 13 Investigates: HISD’s Field of Dreams comes at time others are lacking This is from the Mayor’s blog, 11/10/2020.  A modified design and 20 conditions: 

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

UPDATE: MAY 13, 2022: There is no application for a PD at this time.  Greg Thompson with Thompson+Hanson Landscape Company, located in Bellaire, spoke and his representatives made a conceptual presentation for one and two-story structures located in a garden-like … Continue reading

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How Are Things Going In The UV-D District?

UPDATE: Portions of recently completed 5100-5200 Spruce are once again being demolished and reconstructed due to improper installation of electrical conduit and irrigation lines.  Ponding and poor drainage are also problems.  The good news is that the cost is on … Continue reading

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Bellaire P&Z’s Discussion About Questionable Zoning Ordinances

Apparently some of our zoning ordinances aren’t in line the the Comprehensive Plan, and the Planning and Zoning Commission is tasked with review of those “inconsistencies”.  Although the Comp Plan is just that, a plan, and one that is constantly … Continue reading

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City Notice: Flood Risk Management in Bellaire Workshop Information

Bellaire City Council held a workshop on Monday, April 18, to continue their discussion on flood risk management in Bellaire. You can watch the video or view the presentation online. The next workshop is on May 2 at 6 pm … Continue reading

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Discussion On Flood Mitigation At The April 4, 2022, City Council Meeting

Councilmember Gordon made a compelling presentation on flood mitigation in Bellaire at the recent Council meeting, which in turn sparked a lively and informative discussion on past floods and future possibilities.  Find the PowerPoint Presentation here and a link to … Continue reading

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Urban Renewal? PDs For 4800 Fournace & 5901 South Rice Avenue Are Approved

UPDATE 3/30/2022:  The last meeting on these PD applications, styled as Bellaire Place, was held on March 21, 2022, when a portion of the PDs was approved.  Here’s a link to that meeting.  After a Public Hearing in January and … Continue reading

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P&Z Hearing March 10, 2022, For 5201 Bellaire Blvd

UPDATE 4/18/2022: The application was approved by a 5-0 vote from P&Z.  The application will now move to City Council. Find a Summary below from the Agenda for a hearing for a new food establishment at 5201 Bellaire Blvd. Several … Continue reading

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PDs on Fournace & South Rice Were The Subject of A Third Council Meeting

The City Council meeting on March 7, 2022, once again ran almost 5 hours.  Members addressed City business and then, about an hour into the meeting, the three applications for Planned Developments in the new North Bellaire Special Development District … Continue reading

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ChristChurch Presbyterian in Bellaire Is For Sale

UPDATE:  At the P&Z meeting on February 10, 2022, the commission members discussed the current residential zoning and the apparent intent by the owners or the real estate agents to market the Church property as commercial.  They requested that City … Continue reading

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State of the City of Bellaire

The State Of Our City – February, 2022 On February 7, 2022, Mayor Friedberg delivered his State of the City Address. Prominent in the presentation was on the hiring of a City Manager, Council priorities, filling staff vacancies, and City … Continue reading

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Why Are We Really Losing City Staff? What Should We Expect From Management and City Council?

In the last 6 months of 2021 numerous mid-level and high-level employees left the City of Bellaire’s employ.  A recent claim of the Mayor and his candidates in the 2021 City election was that City employees are unhappy and leaving … Continue reading

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Master Drainage Concept Plan for City of Bellaire – UPDATE – Preliminary Cost is $335 Million

In December of 2018 Bellaire City Council viewed a presentation for an interlocal agreement among Bellaire, TX-DOT, and the Harris County Flood Control District.  In July of 2019 the City signed an interlocal agreement with Harris County Flood Control committing … Continue reading

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City Council Election And More Possible Changes At City Hall

The election for Mayor and three members of City Council is over.  A slate of candidates has been elected: Winfred Frazier, Ross Gordon, and Brian Witt, who ran as a slate and were supported by the Mayor, who ran unoppposed. … Continue reading

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Variance Request For SW Corner of Bissonnet @ Loop 610 – Update and Public Information Request

UPDATE 6/14/2024:  The Planning and Zoning Commission members unanimously approved the application for a development on less than 2 acres n a 4-acre minimum PD at the the corner of Bissonnet and Loop 610.  They were informed the new development … Continue reading

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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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A Few Of Bellaire’s Many Comprehensive Plans

We hear a lot about Bellaire’s Comprehensive Plan, the one some Bellaire residents insist must govern our future zoning.  That it’s some sort of civic law or such. Well, for starters, what is a Comprehensive Plan?    

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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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North Bellaire Special Development District Updates

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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Loss Of The 15% Discount For Flood Insurance – How And When Did This Happen?

UPDATE 6/2024: Bellaire residents may be eligible for a 15% discount on flood insurance as of October 15, 2023.  Find more information here. UPDATE: City Notice: Community Rating System Open House and Community Discussion – September 8, 2021.   Bellaire … 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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Bellaire Church of Christ Requests Additional Parking Spaces For A Lot On South Rice

UPDATE 8/17/2021: On August 16, 2021, City Council approved the SUP request for the parking lot, with lot coverage at 80% plus some underground detention. UPDATE 7/23/21: Agenda item was postponed due to petition submissions.  It may be placed on … 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 May 25, 2021: The new zoning ordinance was approved by City Council on a 4 to 3 vote on May 24, 2021. UPDATE 5/5/2021: After another 5 hour marathon session on May 3rd, this matter has been postponed.  A … 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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The Next Step For SLS Properties (The Old Chevron Property)

On February 11, 2021, the Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission approved proposed language for a new zoning district, the NBSDD (24-544 North Bellaire Special Development District), to replace the existing TRPD (24-544 Technical Research Park District) zoning on the former … Continue reading

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Another Last Minute Request For Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars

At the March 1, 2021, Council meeting Councilmember Wesely objected to an agenda item for a service agreement contract costing almost a half-million dollars.  A 95-page agenda item for $478,897.95, to be exact, for a 5-year contract for a Police … 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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Update on NBSDD Public Hearing on January 14, 2021

UPDATE May 25, 2021: The new NBSDD zoning ordinance was approved by City Council on a 4 to 3 vote on May 24, 2021. Watch the 5 hour meeting here. Update: 2/12/2021: In a long and somewhat confusing meeting on … Continue reading

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North Bellaire Special Development District – The Great Wide Open!

For over 70 years the 30 acre Texaco/Chevron campus along Fournace between South Rice and what is now Loop 610 was a mix of offices and labs, running primarily on a 9 to 5 schedule five days a week. It … 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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The City Of Bellaire Is Now Dealing With Another Lawsuit

The Ongoing Saga Of Spruce and Fifth Streets The first lawsuit was filed by A Status Construction on August 27, 2020, and is unresolved at this time. The construction contractor claims they are due additional payment for work on Spruce/Fifth … 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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No Logo, No Welcome Sign – Just A Parking Lot At The Main Entrance To The City Of Bellaire?

UPDATE 4/16/2021:  An agreement has been reached between the City of Bellaire and the developers of Southside Commons.  The parking lot will be dismantled by Public Works.  The terms of the agreement are not yet available. UPDATE:  12/7/2020 – MM … Continue reading

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HISD UPDATE FOR BELLAIRE HIGH BASEBALL FIELDS

The item below is from the Mayor’s blog on 11/10/2020 explaining the City Council’s actions at the November 2, 2020, meeting for approval HISD’s application for construction of two baseball fields on the old Gordon Elementary property.  A modified design … Continue reading

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A Semi-Brief History of Evelyn’s Park: 1908 – 2020

Hopefully City Council’s unanimous decision at the November 16, 2020, meeting to deny the zoning applications by Evelyn’s Park Conservancy for the commercial parking lot at 4300 Bellaire Blvd will lead to the removal of that lot. If you are … Continue reading

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City Council in November: HISD Ball Fields, Bellaire Blvd Parking Lot, Debt Reduction, And A Search For A City Manager

HISD Application – Former Gordon Elementary Campus 11/4/2020 UPDATE:  No decision.  Council wants more information on the size of replacement trees.  Listen to the recorded meeting here. Find the list of conditions and field layout here. On November 2, 2020, … Continue reading

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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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September In The City! Our Wastewater Plant, The AT&T Property, The HISD Ball Fields, And The Bellaire Blvd Parking Lot!

After a quiet Labor Day things are picking up at City Hall.      

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Another Developer Wants A Variance – For 1.99 Acres on Bissonnet @ 610

NOTE: The BOA meeting was cancelled. Why will the Board of Adjustment, rather than Planning and Zoning, hear a request on September 17th (7 PM) from a developer for an amendment to a zoning ordinance for a Planned Development? Apparently … Continue reading

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

UPDATE 11/8/2022:  O’Reilly Auto Parts will have a new building in the same location on Spruce, described as a redevelopment project. To accommodate the current zoning the store will face east (the old storefront faced south).  The building will be one-story … 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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A Primer on Bellaire P&Z: Updates, A 30 ft Minimum Height And A Zero Setback!

Many Bellaire residents point to the Rice Village as an example of small shops and boutiques in West University. It is not.  The shops and the huge apartment complex are in Houston.  West University would not allow that huge mixed-use … Continue reading

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Can We Just Stop This And Reboot? Save Our Businesses And Our Commercial Area?

On Friday, July 10th, the contractor for Spruce/Fifth and Bolivar/Maple stopped work on projects over a pay dispute with the City. 

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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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City Council Is Back In City Hall, And Back In Action!

UPDATE 6/24/2020:  Mayor Friedberg announced that City Manager Paul Hofmann has been hired as the City Manager of Bastrop, TX, and  will be leaving Bellaire on August 2, 2020. The June 15, 2020, Council meeting was an in-person action packed … Continue reading

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Catching Up With Bellaire – As We Sheltered At Home

Sorry, this is a long article.  The health crisis and lack of in-person Council, commission, and board meetings have not slowed down the staff meetings and planning sessions at City Hall.  Click on items of interest below to read the … Continue reading

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South Rice Avenue In Front Of City Hall – Do We Have To Live With This?

Remember this? South Rice Avenue before the new City Hall/Civic Center was built?  Carefree driving with 2 wide lanes in each direction?  UPDATE:  At the June 15, 2020, City Council meeting the Mayor and members of Council voted unanimously to … 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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A Breath Of Fresh Air In Bellaire City Council Chambers

The recent Bellaire City Council meeting on March 2, 2020, which included a Workshop regarding Revised Street and Drainage Reconstruction Selection Criteria, once again revealed a marked change in attitude by Council members.      

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Bellaire’s Trend For Commercial Development – Residents Had Better Pay Attention

Members of the Bellaire Planning & Zoning Commission have been tasked with drafting proposed amendments to the Technical Research Park District (TRPD), for the purpose of creating a new zoning district, North Bellaire Special Development (NBSDD) District.

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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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City of Bellaire – Beautification or Boondoggle?

What’s the value of a City of Bellaire construction contract?  Apparently if you’re the owner of the company awarded contracts for the City Manager’s pet projects it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.     

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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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Bellaire Receives Grants For Bond Projects and an Urgent Care Center Is Approved

After submitting grant applications to various agencies Bellaire is the recipient of two grants to date.  A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $252,033.84, for flooding from 2015, will be applied towards the Group C Phase 3 bond project. specifically … 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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An Ornate ‘Streetscape’ Behind a Multi-Story Grocery Store? Why?

            Construction on Spruce and Fifth St. alongside and behind H-E-B began in late April of 2019.  The contract called for a completion date of February 15, 2020.  Promoted by the  City Manager and approved … 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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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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All That Debt – Where Has The Money Gone?

Since 1980 Bellaire voters have approved $199,980,000 in bond issues.  Most of that amount, $165,480,000, has been approved since 2000.  We currently owe about $123 million.  What do we have to show for all that debt?  Even though many homeowners … Continue reading

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Siemens – 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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