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. You can refer to Chapter 9, Article XI of the City’s Code of Ordinances for more information.

A large portion of the March 4, 2024, City Council meeting was devoted to the possible adoption of an updated ordinance, directed towards saving existing trees of value or replacing them when necessary with a similar tree or trees of equal size.  Not just in connection with new construction, but rather to save our stock of valuable older trees and our tree canopy.  A list of trees that would require a permit for removal will be provided.  Find that agenda item here. Find a second proposal, to add a charge to oversee the disposition of large trees here.

Permits would be required, and City staff recommended hiring the services of a certified arborist as needed to inspect proposed removals. Discussion focused on the current ordinance in West University Place which has been on effect for 30 years. Entitled the Urban Forest, it explains the large trees and tree-lined streets in that city.  Bellaire’s would be similar, and the ultimate goal is to discourage removal of valuable trees and to encourage planting and maintenance of an extensive tree canopy.

Trees are valuable additions to a property and to a city, both for their beauty and their usefulness.  Let your Mayor and members of City Council know what you think of these proposals.  Email them via our Tracy Dutton, our City Clerk, at

About Jane McNeel

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