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.

In the new Comp Plan the Pont Alba area becomes Small-Lot Residential Attached, and presents an opportunity for homes on smaller lots or fee simple townhouses. However, a new zoning ordinance will be required to complete the change.  Until then the site is still zoned for multi-family. 

The really bad news?  Multi-family remains in the UV-D, the Urban Village Downtown.  Some members on Council seem to think that’s a good idea, and that means apartments or condos could be built on the old Randall’s site as mixed-use multi-family. Bellaire residents may recall the shiny new apartments that were built about 50 years ago in what is now known as the Gulfton area.  A highrise condo development, The Sussex, was built in the 1960s in Sharpstown. 

Others have mentioned the number thefts of autos and the transitory nature of occupants of multi-family developments. Condos are often purchased or converted for rental units, as is the case with a condominium development just outside Bellaire. Currently only 9 of the 27 units are homesteaded, and some investors own multiple units in the complex.

In addition, the UV-D was expanded in 2014 to include the north side of the 5100 and 5200 blocks of Spruce St., which means multi-unit developments could be built 15 feet from the backyards of homes on the south side Locust St.  Meanwhile, small upscale cities like West University do not allow any multi-family.

The zero-lot line setback will become ‘narrower setbacks’, allowing more green space in the UV-D and the UV-T (located in the Loop 610/Westpark area), and the 2-story minimum building height is scheduled to be removed, .  Stay tuned, I’ll try to parse out more Comprehensive Plan updates as I finish watching the video from the April 1st City Council meeting. 

Feel free to email comments to the Mayor and City Council via our City Clerk at, and to members of the Planning and Zoning Commission via

About Jane McNeel

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