At the November 5, 2018, City Council meeting a specific use permit for a car wash business at the corner of Bellaire Blvd and Ferris St. was not approved. The vote was 5 to 2, with Council members Pappas and Montague voting for the permit. Council had voted unanimously to approve a specific use permit for SLS Properties’ plans for the Chevron property to build a 4 story parking garage on the north side of the property bordering residences on Mayfair.
Concerns about the traffic impact on the residential areas around the development and questions about possible contaminants on the property were addressed. According to the developer the site cannot be used for residential uses such as single family homes. Many Bellaire residents may recall that a Texaco research and production laboratory was located on the property for over 50 years. There may be further discussion and/or investigation of these issues.
The new City Hall will open in a few days. Review of the budget revealed a $1 million dollar cost overrun for FF&E (Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment). Construction of the Civic Center will be underway next year. My note: the plaque of the City logo located on the old city hall building will not be seen on the new building. The full cost of the new municipal facilities (see Budget Update at right) is about $2 million dollars over the amount of the original bond issues ($11 million and $5.6 million) plus a carry-over of $1.5 million from the 2005 bonds to improve municipal facilities.
Here’s the latest on our sidewalk saga. After numerous resident petitions with 80 to 90% of residents opposed, streets slated for sidewalks in Phase 1 were reduced from 10 to 2, streets in Phase 2 were reduced from 9 to 6, then the contractor for Phase 1 withdrew their contract. Thanks to opposition and a petition from Laurel street residents the trees shown below were spared.
A contractor had not been chosen for Phase 2. The City Manager advised Council that he was not prepared to put the remaining streets out for bids and suggested a pause in the process, that sidewalks for which there is a clear request from the community impacted by the sidewalk be considered. The concern is that once bids are received for the remaining sidewalks more residents will sign and submit petitions to have their street removed from the project.
Council members Pappas and Pollard expressed their desire to continue with the sidewalk project. Council member Pollard wants to proceed with bids and not accept any more petitions that would allow streets to opt out. If two other council members agree the project could still proceed.
You can access the video of the meeting here: http://bellairecitytx.iqm2.com/Citizens/SplitView.aspx?Mode=Video&MeetingID=1886&Format=Agenda The complete agenda can be accessed here: http://bellairecitytx.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1776&Inline=True
Current City Debt is $124.8 million, but including the interest it is closer to $180 million. A $47 million bond issue is under discussion for 2019 and another for $36 million in 2022. You can email Council at firstname.lastname@example.org