Joint City Council/Planning And Zoning Commission Public Hearing on July 1, 2024

Per the Agenda for the June 3, 2024, City Council meeting, “Ordinance calling a joint public hearing before the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, July 1, 2024, at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chamber, First Floor of City Hall, 7008 South Rice Avenue, Bellaire, Texas 77401-4411, to hear any and all persons desiring to be heard on or in connection with potential amendments to the Code of Ordinances, Chapter 24, Article II, Definitions and Interpretations, and Article V, Zoning Regulations, regarding the R-MF Residential Multi-Family District regulations and the creation of an R-6 Small-Lot Residential Attached District and related regulations – Submitted by Travis Tanner, Director of Development Services.s” – Submitted by Travis Tanner, Director of Development Services.

Council agreed to call a Public Hearing on July 1, 2024, and Public Comments will be welcome!  Find the Agenda and video of the June 3rd Council meeting here.

For background, on April 1, 2024, City Council discussed possible updates to the Bellaire Comprehensive Plan. During that meeting Council approved a revision to the Comp Plan, and the Pont Alba area now becomes Small-Lot Residential Attached.  Rather than multi-family, single family homes on smaller lots or fee simple townhouses would be allowed. A new zoning ordinance will be required to complete the change.  Until then the site is still zoned for multi-family and could be developed for apartments or condos. 

And 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 along the 5100-5200 blocks of Spruce and Cedar and the old Randall’s site on the north side of Bellaire Blvd.  How many Bellaire residents want to see apartments backing up to residences, or condominiums in the center of their downtown area? 

In fact, residents have expressed opposition to multi-family construction. Concerns included thefts from autos, problems with parking, and the transitory nature of occupants of apartment complexes. Condos are often purchased or converted as rental units. and can create the same problems.

The approval of the UV-D in 2014 allows multi-unit developments that could be built 15 feet from the backyards of homes on the south side Locust St.  Hopefully multi-family will be removed from that zoning district as well.  Meanwhile, small upscale cities like West University do not allow any multi-family.

Some positives from past Council meetings: the zero-lot line setback requirement will change to ‘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. 

Feel free to email comments to the Mayor and City Council via our City Clerk at tdutton@bellairetx.gov and to members of the Planning and Zoning Commission via zoning@bellairetx.gov

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