development, and the multi-family
component is included.
Again all of this is potentially only 15
feet from residential lots. The only
accommodation to adjoining residences
in both zoning districts is a setback
There is an additional wild-card
possibility for both UV-D and CMU
planned developments: Even taller
possible if a
make a case and
get approval for
a specific use
approved by City
Council in 2014
on a 5 to 2 vote.
I can assure you
that no one who
voted for this
on P&Z or City
affected by this
won’t suffer the
if a six-story
introduced. Planned development
height on minimum one-acre parcels
was increased from three stories to a
maximum building height of 79 feet.
When an additional 20 feet for such
features as roof gables, antennas and
such are factored in, the height could go
up to 99 feet — and this could potentially
occur just 15 feet from residential
In the CMU, the maximum commercial
building height on a small lot (up to
1/2 acre) is 40 feet, plus a possible 20
feet more, up to 60 feet total — quite
an increase from the earlier three-story
height limit. Areas of 1/2 acre or more
now allow a maximum height of 53 feet
plus 20 ft more, up to 73 feet. The same
maximum height remains for planned
Would you want to live with this
in your back yard? 5 or 6 stories?
Would a setback really matter?
It could happen to residents on
Page 8 | THE ESSENTIALS
condo building is built along the side or
rear of their home.
Meanwhile as Bellaire wrestles with
what to approve on the 30-acre
former Chevron property using these
guidelines, other upscale communities
in the Houston area — West University,
Southside Place, the Memorial Villages —
continue to protect their residential areas
from this sort of intrusion by commercial
or multi-family structures.
This is about more than “not in my
backyard.” This is about the future of
Bellaire, our property values, and our
quality of life.
Poor choices by city leaders affect us all.
McNeel has lived in Bellaire
for 63 years. She runs the
addressing current issues and
offering a user-friendly repository
of city documents. She may be
contacted at bellairebcc@gmail.