Public Hearing March 18, 2024 – Bellaire Comprehensive Plan Update

Public Hearing Announcement

UPDATE: 3/13/2024: A lot of questions from Council and answers by Gary Mitchell and Mike Baker. Highlights include lifestyle living, small-lot residential, no more multi-family, and R-5 zoning (townhouses). Revise the zoning for the commercial areas. Possibly do away with zero setbacks and 2-story minimum heights. It’s going to take months and probably more hearings to arrive at a final Plan. 

Find my comments to the Mayor and members of City Council here. Watch the March 18TH Public Hearing video here. There’s still time to send your comments to the Mayor and City Council.

Come to the meeting on March 18, 2024, and voice your comments about improving the City’s Comprehensive Plan.  Or email them to the City Council in care of Tracy Dutton, our City Clerk, at tdutton@bellairetx.govThis is an important time in Bellaire’s development, please send your comments or speak at the hearing.

Numerous meetings regarding the Comp Plan and possible revisions to our zoning ordinances have been held in the past several months, and the final decisions may soon be made by City Council.  Let them know your expectations for the City’s residential and commercial areas, and what your expectations are for the City’s future growth.  

View suggestions for updates here.

How do you feel about zero setback for commercial developments, that is, right at the property line? (Think H-E-B, or the view of the back of the building at 4460 Bissonnet & Newcastle.)  Would a 15 or 20 foot setback with landscaping, trees, and on-site parking be better?

What about 90% site coverage, and tall building heights in the middle of downtown? Would you prefer one and two-story retail and office buildings? Where you can pull in and park? With ground level parking, no parking garages?

Do multi-family apartments and condos belong in Bellaire?  (Not to be confused with residential single-family townhouses.) How do rental properties affect a city? 

Below are some suggestions under discussion for changes in our commercial areas.  The UV-D is the central downtown area – H-E-B, the old Randalls site.  The CMU runs along Bellaire Blvd on the south side and most of Bissonnet.  Find the current zoning map here.

  • Revising certain standards for the Urban Village-Downtown (UV-D) and Corridor Mixed Use (CMU) zoning districts
  • Removing multi-family residential as a potential use in CMU, and revisiting the standards for this use in UV-D.
  • Revisiting the allowance for small-lot attached residential in UV-D (but maintaining in CMU).
  • Eliminating the minimum building height requirement in UV-D.
  • Revisiting the maximum building height allowed in UV-D. (Under Planned Development on at least one acre the height could run to 79 feet or more.)
  • Providing for some front yard area in UV-D, including to accommodate street trees, wider sidewalks, outdoor seating areas and/or landscaped spaces along sites frontages, versus the current required zero setback of buildings from front property lines (with the intent still to minimize parking in front of buildings in UV-D in favor of mostly side or rear parking, along with opportunities for off-site shared parking arrangements plus utilization of on-street parking or any future public parking in the area).
  • Revisiting the extent of lot/site coverage allowed in UV-D and CMU, including for flood mitigation reasons.
  • Providing more explicit decision guidance for Specific Use Permit determinations in UV-D involving proposed drive-in or drive-through arrangements – along with weighing the Page 16 of 83 Comprehensive Plan Bellaire, TX BELLAIRE TOMORROW
  • Land Use and Community Character | 12 broader questions of whether such auto-oriented design and activity should be allowed at all in UV-D.

Find information and discussion of a revised Comprehensive Plan from the January meeting of Planning and Zoning and the City Council here.

UV-D
CMU
UV-T
R-MF

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