Two Bellaire residents spoke at the City Council meeting on Monday, October 21, 2019, expressing their concern about a new residential construction in their area that is elevated about 10 to 12 feet off the ground. See the photo at left.
Depending on the architectural design, the final height of the structure could be 45 or 50 feet — or more. Why? Because that’s allowed under our current zoning for single family residential. The height allowance begins at the level of the actual living area. Perhaps the garage area may be the first level of the house.
For R-3 Zone: Maximum building height: 2½ stories not to exceed twenty-five (25) feet to the top plate of the second story and thirty-five (35) feet six (6) inches at any ridge pole. Height measurements shall be from the top of the lowest level of the top of the foundation of the heated or air conditioned building enclosed within the outer walls of the structure.
The brick home at left is constructed on a smaller lot in Southdale, zoned R-4. This street suffered some of the worst of the flooding during Harvey. The same height restrictions apply. Currently there are other homes in Bellaire either under construction or completed, with similar elevated designs. You can’t fault the owners, there are no restrictions on how high a home may be elevated, and they want to be high and dry. Though how high and dry may need to be addressed by our Boards and Commissions, and eventually by City Council.
Here’s the link to Bellaire’s Code of Municipal Ordinances Part II, Chapter 24, Article V will take you to the various Zoning Districts. Then to Division 2, Zoning District Regulations.
Find your zoning district here: https://www.bellairecivicclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Bellaire-Zoning-Map-Nov-2018cropped.pdf