P&Z Public Hearing: A Mixed Use Development Is Proposed In The UV-T

UPDATE: MAY 13, 2022: There is no application for a PD at this time.  Greg Thompson with Thompson+Hanson Landscape Company, located in Bellaire, spoke and his representatives made a conceptual presentation for one and two-story structures located in a garden-like area in the Urban-Village-Transit District, the UV-T.  Based on the drawings it would be a delightful pedestrian-friendly commercial area with space for gardens and open air events. Find a link to the video here. 

Sadly, there were several problems with the plans, due to the current zoning restrictions regarding zero setback and building height.

Zoning is the same as the UV-D: new buildings must be at least 2-stories or 30′ tall.  At least 75% of the the front facade of all new buildings must be at the front property line.  That creates problems for on-site parking and general appearance.  The owners prefer green space and easy access, not high density areas.  This is the first time anyone has proposed a new structure in the UV-T, and time will tell if they decide to come back to P&Z.   

Both the UV-T and UV-D districts were approved in 2014.  Since that time several businesses around the  H-E-B area in the UV-D have left and only one new building was constructed.  It remains unoccupied.  Streets have been narrowed to allow hit-or-miss angled public parking, and the area presents as cramped, crowded, and poorly maintained. 

Definitely not the vision that was presented when this zoning was approved by 5 members of City Council in 2014, or the vision of an elegant Highland Village along Spruce St, promoted by the City manager and approved by the Mayor and five members of City Council in 2019.  Is it time for some zoning changes?  What do residents really want in their retail/commercial areas?

On Thursday, May 12, 2022, according to the City agenda, Bellaire Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a Public Hearing for a PD in the Urban Village-Transit zoning district, located in the northwest area of Bellaire adjacent to the Walmart and Microcenter area.  The hearing is for a mixed-use development at Lehigh and First Sts.  Lehigh St is one block north of Saxon St, the last residential street in that area.  

Curtis & Windham Architects, Inc. conceptual presentation for Urban Farm, for a proposed Planned Development as required by the Code of Ordinances of the City of Bellaire, Texas (City Code), Chapter 24, Planning and Zoning, Section 24604, Application for Planned Development Amendment, to build and operate mixeduse commercial development at North 1st Street and Lehigh Street, Bellaire, Texas, within the Urban Village (TOD) (UVT) Zoning District, as provided for in Section 24 547(B)(d) of the City Code.

UPDATE 5/10/22: The presentation was mistakenly published as a Public Hearing.  Regardless, residents are welcome to attend the meeting in person or via the U-verse Channel 99, Comcast Channel 16, and stream on the City’s Facebook page

Find the Agenda item here

Email P&Z at zoning@bellairetx.gov

About Jane McNeel

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