Important Meetings and Events
Comments or Questions? Use this Contact form. I send out eblasts about once a month and would be happy to add you to the list. Thanks!
Bellaire City Council -Bellaire City Council – Agenda for March 20 @ 6:00 PM – Workshop for Light and Noise Ordinances – Find the Full Agenda Here
Bellaire City Council – Agenda for March
Find Agendas for City Council and Boards and Commissions Here
Residents can attend most meetings in person or via U-verse Channel 99, Comcast Channel 16, or on the City’s Facebook page
City Manager’s Weekly Memos and Updates
NOTICE: Limit of 6 trash bag pickup will be enforced. Find more information here.
You can send comments to City Council and request public records here
FY2023 COB Adopted Budget
February 6, 2023 State of the City Report
FY2022 Consolidated Financial Statement
Tax Rate Remains $0.4473 per $100
100 Years of Bellaire History!
October 28, 2022: Sadly we lost Lynn McBee in 2022. Her volunteerism. historical perspective on city administrations, and her skill in maintaining a written record of Bellaire’s history will be missed.
Click on the Trolley to view the Table of Contents for Lynn’s history of Bellaire. Great information on your Home Town!
I couldn’t resist a photo of one of Bellaire’s manhole covers.
And for a terrific photo history check this out: www.bellairebook.com
Mosquito Spray Program Information Here’s a “No Spray Request” for citizens who do not want the spraying to occur near their home. “No Spray Request Form”
Problems with stray cats? If you are in Bellaire borrow a live trap from the BPD. Check with SNAP for low-cost spay or neuter https://www.snapus.org/houston/. Friends for Life https://friends4life.org/programs-and-events/fixhouston/ HOPE https://www.homelesspets.net/feral-cats/TNR Houston site: https://www.houstontx.gov/barc/trap_neuter_return.html and PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING TO THESE ORGANIZATIONS.
Wonder what happened to your flood insurance discount? Find out here.
New Bellaire High – Completion in 2022
Construction on the new Bellaire High school is complete. The original building was demolished during the week of July 13-17, 2021. Find more information here.
Recycling, organic gardening, less pesticides – all win/wins for our kids and our community. So are reusable bags!
Interested in composting? Check out Buchanan’s Composting 101 article.
Find other informative articles here.
Left Overs From the 2016 Bond Issue
Spruce and Fifth Streets – Now the subject of a lawsuit, the $3.2 million in contracts for this project called for completion by February 15, 2020. A drive through the area feels as though you’re in a rundown fun house. Here’s some background on this project.
Bolivar – What has happened to this quiet tree-lined cul-de-sac? At a cost of amost $2 million more in bond funds.!
No More City Of Homes?
According to the City manager and staff our longtime City logo, representing Bellaire as a City of Homes, will soon be gone, thanks to City Council and the $50,000 branding study. Read more here.
Category Archives: Government
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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?
Mike Jacobs – A Presentation to Bellaire City Council, September 9, 2019
Please click on the page below to view Mike Jacobs’ Budget Analysis FY2020 as presented to Bellaire City Council on September 9, 2019. The pdf can also be downloaded. Thank you.
4301 Bellaire Blvd – Can We Trust Our Zoning?
August 6, 2019: There was good news for Bellaire residents as City Council voted 6 to 1 at the August 5, 2019, Council meeting to retain the existing residential zoning in the Bellaire Boulevard Estate Overlay District (BBEOD). Only outgoing … Continue reading
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
Tax and Spend – Bellaire Council’s Budget Session #3 and Some Updates
UPDATE 9-27-2019: On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the City Council approved an increase the total tax levy for the 2019 tax year (fiscal year 2020) by 3.28% by proposing a tax rate of $0.4473 per $100 valuation. Less then the … Continue reading
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
Bellaire Property Taxes Up 25% Over The Next 5 Years?
UPDATE 9-27-2019: Some good news. On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the City Council meeting will include a presentation regarding a proposal to increase the total tax levy for the 2019 tax year (fiscal year 2020) by 3.28% by proposing a … Continue reading
4800 Fournace & 5901 South Rice – Development & Apartments – Undermining Residents and Our City of Homes?
UPDATE: A second workshop is to be scheduled during the week of October 28, with a public hearing to follow during the week of November 18, tentatively. The Commission would then vote at their December 12, 2019, meeting. Find recent … Continue reading
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
Flood Mitigation Task Force Meeting March 26, 2019
I watched the recent Flood Mitigation Task Force meeting held on March 26, 2019, available on Facebook. The focus was streets and drainage. How to prioritize what streets get fixed first. Suggested ranking criteria was first discussed – how many … Continue reading
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
Welcome To A Lush Grove? Now It’s Migrated To The City’s Website!
Back in 2017 City Council approved $50,000 for a branding study, with a no-bid contract to a company owned by a Bellaire resident. The results of that study, a B/leaf logo, a verbal identity, and a green font, were met … Continue reading
How Much Debt Is Too Much?
Over half of the $23.38 million in bonds approved in 2016 for Water and Wastewater Improvements did not go toward new water or sewer lines. It was devoted to a contract with Siemens for new water meters and improvements to … Continue reading
How Is Our City Money Being Managed?
Don’t be fooled by recent City Council votes on sidewalks. Five foot wide sidewalks are still the standard with street reconstruction. The stand-alone sidewalks have been shelved but the funds have not been redirected by City Council to other projects … Continue reading
Council Votes 6 to 1 To Proceed With The Spruce/Fifth St Project at 2/18/2019 Meeting
NOTE: The State of the City Powerpoint presentation from February 4, 2019, can be found at the end of this article. Despite the large number of speakers at recent City Council meetings who opposed the Spruce/Fifth St project as planned, … Continue reading
15. Bellaire’s 10th Decade 2000 – 2008 A Centennial Year
Welcome to Bellaire in the first decade of the twenty first century. From 9/11/2001 to Bellaire’s Centennial year of 2008. A new city manager, new parks, more bonds for streets, drainage and sidewalks, aquatics centers and municipal facilities. Zoning changes, … Continue reading
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
What’s All This About Downtown Redevelopment in Bellaire?
Do We Value Our Small Businesses? Can’t the appearance of downtown Bellaire be improved without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to drive out our longtime businesses? We already have everything we need to remain a successful and … Continue reading
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
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.
2019: Drainage Plan – Town Hall Meeting – Spruce St
The highlight of the December 17, 2018, Council meeting was the presentation a Bellaire Master Drainage Concept Plan, beginning with a proposed interlocal agreement among Bellaire, TX-DOT, and the Harris County Flood Control District. Bellaire is located at the east/southeast … Continue reading
City Council Update on Spruce/Fifth St Leads To An Unpleasant Exchange; The 4th Quarter Financial Report Is Available
At the November 19th City Council meeting, Denton Ragland, CEO of the Bellaire Business Association, made a presentation promoting a campaign to encourage residents to ‘Stay Local to Bellaire Resources’ and stay loyal to their local businesses, then City Manager … Continue reading
Chapter 14 – Controversy and Changes In The Last Decade Of The 20th Century!
It was the last decade of the twentieth century. There was much speculation and even foreboding by some that the century’s end might be doomsday… Bellaire in the 1990s was fraught with controversy, criminal charges, and a succession of mayors. … Continue reading
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
Yes to Chevron Property, No to Car Wash, Pause in the Sidewalk Saga
At the November 5, 2018, City Council meeting a specific use permit for a car wash business at the corner of Bellaire Blvd and Ferris St. was not approved. The vote was 5 to 2, with Council members Pappas and … Continue reading
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
Spruce Street – Not In My Backyard! But The City Manager Just Won’t Give Up. Why?
You’ve heard the phrase ‘Not in my backyard’, right? This Spruce St/Fifth St project is everyone’s back yard. We tend to spend most of our home time in our neighborhood, but just about everyone in the City spends some time … Continue reading
A 4 to 2 Vote and We Get 5 Foot Sidewalks
Update – 10/15/2018: Late summer and into the fall of 2018 residents protested and submitted petitions to remove their streets from the projects, and their requests were approved. But most Council members still continued to vote in favor of installing … Continue reading
City of Bellaire- Proposed Budget FY 2019
View the August 13th City Council Session on the Proposed Budget: http://bellairecitytx.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=1880&Format=Agenda
What’s With All These Bellaire Plans and Studies?
The City Council and the City Manager are fond of referring to various plans and studies to justify expenditures, sometimes on questionable projects and more studies. We hear about the Comprehensive Plan, the Branding Study, Terrain Studios and something called … Continue reading
Bellaire Agenda: Mayor and Council Special Session (Pre-Budget Planning Workshop)
Thursday, May 3, 2018, the Mayor and City Council will hold an all day pre-budget planning session in the Centerpoint Energy Community Center, located over the entrance to the Aquatics Center. For those residents unable to attend the Session you … Continue reading
City of Bellaire – A Bully Pulpit Or Just A Bully?
Why would a City choose to harm its small businesses? Spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to do so? In November of 2016 Bellaire voters gave the City Council and City Manager a big pot of money – right at … Continue reading
Why This Sudden Interest in Spruce Street?
When Bellaire voters approved a bond issue for $24 million dollars for Streets, Drainage, and Sidewalks with the explanation that ‘Projects will address replacement of streets and drainage systems in order to reduce the occurrence of flooding and improve street … Continue reading
How Does the City of Bellaire Spend Taxpayer Money?
As of 2016 the City of Bellaire had over $104 million dollars in outstanding debt, $5600 per person, which is much higher than any of the surrounding municipalities. Almost a quarter of the of the City budget, about $9 million, … Continue reading