The city of Bellaire is in the initial phases of updating its current comprehensive plan. City staff organized two informal listening sessions May 23-24 at the CenterPoint Energy Community Center.

Community Relations Administrator Cheryl Bright said in an email that it’s the first step when it comes to updating the city’s plan that will guide developments and enhancements for the city's future.

The last time Bellaire released a comprehensive plan was in September 2015.

Terms to know: Bellaire’s Comprehensive Plan, according to the 2015 document, is designed to take care of the “the basics” by reinforcing the fundamental importance of neighborhood integrity in the “City of Homes” as well as the priority residents place on parks and recreation opportunities, safe streets and preservation of a small-town atmosphere amid a vast metropolitan region.

The details: An outside consultant was hired by the city to serve as the listening sessions’ facilitator. The sessions, officials said, were an opportunity for the consultants to talk and listen to a cross-section of Bellaire residents, business owners and leaders early in the planning process.

  • Consultants had the opportunity to hear from the community about current issues, opportunities, needs and priorities.
  • The sessions were to address any common themes or insights based on shared observations and opinions.

What business owners are saying: Local business owners at the May 24 listening session discussed a variety of trends, including zoning ordinances, sales taxes and parking. One business owner shared how he has been seeing more traction from buyers coming from inside the Loop 610.

Quote of note: Bellaire resident Michele Arnold said that a couple items discussed during the first listening session she attended May 23 were from residents’ concerns, including the location of the METRO transit center, businesses in town and crime.

“The other thing that came up in our meeting is pretty much we don’t give a damn what’s happening nationally,” Arnold said. “We’re not trying to be or emulate another city anywhere. Bellaire is a very special unique place, and we’re trying to keep it.”

Get involved: The next public event regarding Bellaire’s comprehensive plan update is an open house in June.

June 13

5:30 p.m.

Bellaire City Hall

7008 South Rice Ave.