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UPDATE: Southside Commons Parking Lot
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.
UPDATE: $65 Million Dollar CDBG-MIT Application
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 called insisted there was a figure of over $5 million for a new building in the $65 million application. Find the the budget at left, obtained from the Texas General Land Office. 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. (See below.) 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.
Planning and Zoning Meeting February 11, 2021
NBSDD (Old Chevron Property)
Update: 2/23/2021: In a long and somewhat confusing meeting on February 11th the Planning and Zoning Commission essentially approved the proposed draft for the NDSDD with a few minor changes. They will recommend consideration and approval of the new zoning district from members of Bellaire City Council, possibly as soon as the March 15, 2021, meeting. Find the new proposed draft for the district here.
P&Z Agenda for February 11, 2021 – Telephonic – 6 PM – North Bellaire Special Development District on old Chevron property
VII. Current Business (Items for Discussion, Consideration, and/or Possible Action)
A. Consideration and possible action on 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.
B. Approval of the Planning and ZoningCommission’s Report and Recommendation to City Council on the 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 tothe new North Bellaire Special Development District.
Article: NBSDD – The Great Wide Open