UPDATE 5/6/2021: Consideration by City Council on the proposed language for the NBSDD has been scheduled for Monday, May 3, 2021. Numerous speakers addressed Council at the April 5th Public Hearing, both in person and by phone.
A number of residents spoke in favor of the ‘development’, even though no development has been presented. Others complained that they must leave the City to find decent places to eat. Still others praised Rice Village, which is situated in an affluent residential area in Houston, not far from Rice University. In comparison, the area of Houston adjoining the proposed North Bellaire Special Development District includes various commercial businesses and warehouses, the new affordable housing apartments at 5612 South Rice, an elementary school, plus Loop 610.
Residents speaking against the permitted uses that are included in the proposed ordinance addressed environmental contamination concerns, the impact a large development covering 80% of the site would have on the neighboring residential areas, increased traffic and flooding, as well as other concerns such as 85′ tall buildings. Nothing from the Special Warranty Deed that accompanies the property is addressed in the ordinance. Requests were made to Council to follow the 2017 Comprehensive Plan for the area as described in Chapter 2.11.
No one suggested that the property not be developed, but many residents want to see more green space with a maximum 60% lot coverage, and building height at 2-stories or less.
Written comments are due by high noon April 29, 2021. Please send them care of Tracy Dutton, email@example.com and request that they be forwarded to the Mayor and Council and be included in the minutes of the 4/29/2021 Council meeting.
An Important Public Hearing – Monday, April 5, 2021
Telephonic and in Person – 6 PM
Change Technical Research Park District (TRPD) to North Bellaire Special Development District (NBSSD)
This Hearing is in regards to the old Texaco/Chevron property, located along Fournace Place between Loop 610 and South Rice Avenue in Bellaire.
Per the City Notice: “On January 14, 2021, the Planning & Zoning Commission held a public hearing for the purpose of reviewing proposed amendments to Chapter 24,Planning and Zoning Regulations, including Section 24-403, Official Zoning District Map, and Section 24-544, Technical Research Park District (TRPD),to replace the Technical Research Park District (TRPD) with a new zoning district to be titled North Bellaire Special Development District which will generally include allowances for various commercial, residential and mixed uses and different heights, setbacks and coverage.
The proposed revisions would be generally applicable to all properties within the current Technical Research Park District (TRPD) and include the renumbering of sections of Chapter 24, Planning and Zoning Regulations, as applicable, to refer to the new North Bellaire Special Development District.”
Here are just a few of the things we residents may want to consider regarding the development of the old Texaco/Chevron property:
- Does the new district adhere to the language in the Comprehensive Plan?
- How will a large commercial development impact residents in the area? What about residential property values and quality of life?
- The two existing high-rise office buildings are attracting tenants. How much more traffic may be added to the mix if a large development is also permitted?
- What changes in the traffic pattern may occur in the area once the Loop 610 construction is complete?
- If an allowable lot coverage of 80% is achieved, what’s the chance of increased flooding in the area?
- Where does the TCEQ stand on redevelopment of the land? What’s a safe depth for excavation? What about airborne vapors generated by the underground water contamination?
- Recent BCC articles plus an early 2019 version of a proposed development are listed below
To comment please email the Mayor and City Council via our City Clerk, Tracy Dutton, at firstname.lastname@example.org and request that your email be forwarded. Comments are allowed at the Public Hearing on April 5th, but no comments will be allowed at the Council meeting to consider and possibly authorize the new zoning district. That is tentatively scheduled for April 19, 2021.
And a much earlier article from June of 2019: 4800 Fournace & 5901 South Rice – Development & Apartments – Undermining Residents and Our City of Homes?