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 (May-July), and provide input and direction for the Bellaire Tomorrow phase (August-November), of the Comprehensive Plan review process – Facilitated by Gary Mitchell, President of Kendig Keast Collaborative.”    

Find the three sections of the document below:

The history in Bellaire Today is interesting, so are the survey “highlights”.  But most important for suggesting changes is the briefing paper regarding development regulations evaluation. 

Of particular interest are the commercial areas of UV-D (the downtown area around H-E-B and the old Randalls) and the CMU (mainly along Bissonnet and the western portion of Bellaire Blvd).  Per the draft:

“The “General” portion of the UV-D district mentions themes such as:

    • Mix of uses.
    • Style of development intended to reinforce the “small town” downtown feel desired by Bellaire residents, including opportunities for shopping, services, dining and entertainment.
    • Destination downtown. [Not what this area of Bellaire has offered for various reasons.]
    • High-profile area of community … District standards require that more visible landscaping and green elements be incorporated on all sites, including within off-street parking areas and any higher-intensity residential or mixed-use developments that emerge within the district.”

The zoning requirements for the UV-D currently include intensive site coverage with reduced lot area and width, greater height (2-story 30-ft minimum height) at front property line (required), and 75% zero front property line setback for commercial structures. Minimum10-ft sidewalks. 

Internalized design for multi-family structures (apartments or condos) are allowed with some restrictions. Townhouses on five (5) contiguous lots are allowed at the edges of the UV-D, 50% of structure at zero setback.  Also allowed is maximum 79-ft. for Planned Developments (7 to 8 stories). 

Besides the UV-D and CMU districts, other areas are up for possible changes or rezoning.


To conclude this interim briefing paper, we note the handful of properties in Bellaire that are currently zoned differently from what was anticipated when the Future Land Use and Character (FLUC) map within the Comprehensive Plan was last updated and adopted in 2015, then 2017. These locations include:

  • The current church property at the southeast corner of Bellaire Boulevard and S. Rice Avenue, which is zoned R-4 Residential but is designated on the FLUC map as Corridor Mixed Use.
  • The current Pont Alba apartments property, which is zoned Residential Multi-Family (R-MF) but is designated on the FLUC map as Corridor Mixed Use.
  • The current CenterPoint property, which is zoned Light Industrial (LI) but is designated on the FLUC map for Corridor Mixed Use along its Bissonnet Street frontage and General Residential on the balance of the property to the rear.
  • The current car wash property on Beechnut at the southeast corner of Bellaire, which is also zoned Light Industrial (LI) but designated on the FLUC map as Corridor Mixed Use.”

The Development Regulations Evaluation addresses issues with conflicting or confusing ordinances and inconsistent terminology.  Special Use terminology.  Complexity of headings and numbering which create confusion.  A UDO, Unified Development Ordinance approach, is suggested to provide cross references and simplify research for applications.

For comparison, Bellaire’s current Comprehensive Plan is 122 pages long. West University’s is 34 pages long.  Seems like we could stand some updating and some changes.

You can view the meeting live on U-verse Channel 99, Comcast Channel 16, and stream on the City’s Facebook page.  Also watch on your computer, live or later for most meetings. Go to Watch Meetings Live/Recorded on the City website.

You have time to review the draft documents, then please let City Council and Planning and Zoning know how you feel about the current requirements for the UV-D and CMU districts, and our future zoning.  Members of Council and P&Z do pay attention to resident comments.  Email City Clerk Tracy Dutton,, and request that your comments be passed on to Council and P&Z.

Bellaire Comprehensive Plan

West University Comprehensive Plan

Bellaire Zoning Map

About Jane McNeel

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