Hearing set for Bellaire parking lot lawsuit

Bellaire parking lot
A hearing is set for Jan. 27 over a lawsuit seeking to stop the demolition of an overflow parking lot constructed at 4300 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

A hearing is set for Jan. 27 over a lawsuit seeking to stop the demolition of an overflow parking lot constructed at 4300 Bellaire Blvd., Bellaire. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

Bellaire City Council met in a closed session Jan. 25 to discuss a recent lawsuit brought by MM Bellaire One LLC, the developers for Southside Commons, over the potential demolition of a parking lot that the city approved in error.

No decision was made by council after it reconvened into the open portion of the meeting. A Harris County District Court hearing on the case is scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 27.

"The city is confident in its legal position and has every intention of defending its zoning regulations," the city of Bellaire said in a statement.

The order to demolish the parking lot came after a zoning amendment request to allow it was voted down 7-0 by City Council on Nov. 16.

MM Bellaire One initially filed a suit with Harris County District Court on Dec. 7 seeking to block the city's order to demolish the lot. Judge Donna Roth agreed Dec. 8 on a temporary restraining order to give all the parties involved time to resolve the dispute or proceed with the case.


Under the restraining order, the city cannot demolish the parking lot, nor can it fine MM Bellaire One for failing to do so.

In a revised suit filed Jan. 19, MM Bellaire One requested at least $1 million in relief along with an injunction blocking enforcement of the demolition. The city of Bellaire, Bellaire Development Services Director Chavonne Sampson and Evelyn’s Park Conservancy are named as defendants in the second suit.

Evelyn's Park has responded to the suit by claiming nonprofit immunity. According to the suit, the park obtained a parking license for the property from Centerpoint in 2017 and entered an agreement with MM Bellaire One in 2019 to develop the property. In January 2020, Bellaire officials approved a permit allowing construction.

According to the suit, MM Bellaire One spent $300,000 to construct the parking lot.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


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