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UPDATE:  Southside Commons Parking Lot

UPDATE 4/16/2021:  An agreement has been reached between the City of Bellaire and the developers of Southside Commons.  The parking lot will be dismantled by Public Works.  The terms of the agreement are not yet available.

1-26-2021 – Southside Commons will have a new parking lot, courtesy of West University.  On Monday, January 25, 2021, the West University Place City Council approved a lease agreement with MM Bellaire Two  to build a parking lot at 4213 Bellaire Blvd.  MM Bellaire Two will then lease the parking lot from West University.

MMB2’s proposal is to construct a parking lot for use with their commercial development (Southside Commons) just east of the property. Their proposal also included associated infrastructure improvements to the main trunk line to accommodate the City’s planned drainage improvements in the next few years.

The terms of lease include the following:

  • Term: 10-year lease, with two additional 10-year extensions
  • Start Date: July 1, 2021 (Jan – Jun will be permitting with City of Houston)
  • Rate: $36,000 (1st year) with a 2.5% annual increase
  • Existing Tenant: Permitted to stay until July, with the City continuing to collect rent

Improvements: MMB2 will construct all permitted improvements (surface & drainage) at their expense, with the City providing a 50% credit for drainage improvements capped at a maximum of $125,000 (amortized over the first 10 years of the term)

The lawsuit filed by MM Bellaire One against the City of Bellaire regarding the parking lot at 4300 Bellaire Blvd is now being heard in the 295th District Court of Harris County.  A live stream of the 295th Court can be viewed here.
Article: No Logos…

UPDATE: Safebuilt LLC and Building Officials

Update 1/7/21: Council approved the very expensive contracts with Safebuilt because they had no other choice. The current contract for that service expires the end of January and no one in the Development Department could perform the inspections.

It seems that neither the highly paid Department director or recently hired Assistant Director have the skills to do the job of a building official or plan review service.  In what used to be called the Inspection Department.

The January 5, 2021 meeting included instructions from Council to Interim City Manager Brant Gary to post job listings for a building inspector and an official for plan review services. The fulltime positions with the City have been posted.

Hiring in-house building officials will result in lower costs and greater control for the City.

Update 1/23/2021 – A response to a Request for Public Information (PIR-21-007), received 1/22/21, revealed that the City only began to advertise for proposals from contractors on November 17, 2020, via a post in the Legal Notices section of the Southwest News. Emails were also sent to area companies the next day.

The 2-week period allowed for submissions included the Thanksgiving holiday, and ended December 2, 2020.  Two proposals were received.  The proposal from Safebuilt LLC was supported by City staff and submitted to Council for approval on December 21, 2020, and no mention was made that a Safebuilt contractor was already working for Bellaire.  The contracts were approved on January 5, 2021.

Update: From the Weekly Memo of 1-29-2021:
Development Services Position Recruitment

Building Official: Recruitment for the Building Official closed on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. We received a total of 21 applicants of which 16 were deemed as qualified. Staff has reviewed the application materials and will be inviting five in for interviews on Monday and Tuesday, February 1st and 2nd.

Building Inspector: Recruitment for the Building Inspector closed on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. We received a total of 35 applicants of which 20 were deemed as qualified. Staff is in the final process of reviewing the application materials to determine who will be invited in for an interview.

Plan Examiner/Reviewer: Recruitment for the Plan Examiner/Reviewer closed on Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. We received a total of 16 applicants of which seven were deemed as qualified. Staff is in the final stage of reviewing the application materials to determine who will be invited to participate in the interview process.

Article: $407,250 in Contracts…

UPDATE: $65 Million Dollar CDBG-MIT Application

Per City Weekly Report of 5/21/2021:  The Texas General Land Office released a list of projects today that qualify for this round of funding. The proposed wastewater treatment plant relocation project was not included in that list for funding. We will continue to explore other grant opportunities for various projects and keep Council posted.

Brant Gary, the interim City Manager, presented an update on the application during the January 25, 2021 Council meeting.  Early in the process he stated that a new Public Works building was included in the budget.

Councilmember Lewis mentioned that no new building, listed in his original presentation in September 2020 as “Construction of replacement building without new bond debt ($6-10m)”, is  shown in the budget.

The I-CM insisted there was a figure of over $5 million for a new building in the $65 million application.  The only line item referencing a building is one for a new 1800 s/f CMU (concrete masonry unit, i.e. concrete block) Ops Building for $399,996.

Now, in a new release styled ‘Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Conceptual Cost Estimate’ Michael Leech, the Director of Public Works lists the new operations building cost at $5,578,000. It would be helpful to know what costs listed in the budget are included in that figure.

The project costs of turning the old site of the WWTP into a detention site is not included in the $65 million either. The $250K listed for detention would be for the new site for the Public Works equipment and storage.  A large part of the budget appears to be devoted to costs for the Houston portion of the project.

Find the original presentation on this project here.

Article: Demolish Wastewater Treatment Plant…

A Quick Update 5/26/2021: The NBSDD ordinance was approved on May 24, 2021, with some amendments. In addition to removing three possibles (o,p, & q) from the PD permitted uses at the May 3, 2021 Council meeting (see below), the changes include a 65′ setback from the homes on Mayfair (replacing a 35′ setback) and movie theaters (f) are removed from the list. The City Attorney is working on the final language of the ordinance, which will be published on this site as soon as possible. 

Update 3/29/2021:  Public Hearing April 5th, 2021

Proposed Zoning For The Old Texaco/Chevron Property

An Important Public Hearing before City Council is scheduled for Monday,  April 5, 2021
Telephonic and in Person – 6 PM regarding the change from Technical Research Park District (TRPD) to North Bellaire Special Development District (NBSSD)

Find a link to the Notice of Public Hearing here.

Update: 2/23/2021:   Planning and Zoning Meeting February 11, 2021 – NBSDD (Old Chevron Property)  On February 11th the Planning and Zoning Commission essentially approved the proposed draft for the NDSDD with a few minor changes. Listen to the Video here.   

Article: NBSDD – The Great Wide Open