For the second council meeting in a row, the Bellaire City Council debated the land use of a former Chevron campus within city limits now known as the North Bellaire Special Development District.
Three special development permit applications have been filed for the site by SLS West Loop LP, which owns the property. Although those applications have not been approved, the council further defined rules for the site at a March 7 meeting.
Primary points of contention included whether the developer could charge for parking and the potential issue of light pollution on nearby residential areas.
In a 4-3 vote, the council struck language from the ordinance specifying that applicants cannot charge for parking in the proposed garages that could be built at the site. Mayor Andrew Friedberg joined Council Members Winfred Frazier, Ross Gordon and Brian Witt in removing the provision, while Council Members Catherine Lewis, Nathan Wesley and Jim Hotze opposed the removal.
Additionally, Lewis made a presentation citing the potential effects of light from some of the taller proposed buildings in the SLS plan, emphasizing the need to protect surrounding neighborhoods from light pollution. The city's requirements call for opaque screening in certain areas to block light from entering adjacent residences.
All three of the planned development permits for the special development district have yet to be granted by the council.
While the discussion of the special development district took up a majority of the council meeting, it was not the only item on the agenda.
Officials with the Evelyn’s Park Conservancy Board announced an opening of the park's second phase in either late March or early April. Improvements will include a solar-powered shade structure for small gatherings, a large covered pavilion with moveable seating, an interactive splash pad and two new interactive playgrounds.
The council also approved a design contract with Ardurra Group Inc. for the installation of a 500-kilowatt generator at the Feld Park Water Treatment Facility, allocating $76,174.
Once completed, he project "will provide the city with full generator power at two of the three water production facilities, which will provide for additional protection against the impacts of a prolonged power outage," according to the council agenda packet.