Bellaire City Council members adopted an ordinance restricting parking on a portion of a residential street outside Evelyn’s Park, leaving a pathway open for nearby property owners to petition for similar ordinances in the future.

The overview

More than half a dozen Bellaire property owners spoke out in favor of the ordinance during council’s Nov. 7 meeting, citing safety and traffic concerns caused by overflow parking from Evelyn’s Park.

At least one homeowner from each of the 14 households on the 4400 block of Camellia Lane signed a petition to bring the ordinance before City Council.

With the ordinance’s approval, each household will receive five permits allowing parking on the block. Vehicles found violating the new restrictions will be subject to a fine of up to $200.

How we got here

A request for permit parking along the 4400 block of Camellia Lane was previously considered by council members shortly after Evelyn’s Park opened in 2017. Council members voted down the measure at the time, noting it was too early to determine how overflow parking would affect nearby properties.

Along with the petition, homeowners submitted photos showing the street outside their homes lined with vehicles and pedestrians along the sidewalk.

Travis Tanner, the city’s planning and development director, said because at least one homeowner from each house on the block signed the petition, it was valid for the council's consideration.

What they’re saying

Several Bellaire residents who live on the 4400 block of Camellia Lane spoke in favor of the ordinance during the meeting.

Resident Mike Martin said overflow parking has caused consistent traffic congestion outside his home since he and wife moved to Bellaire in 2021.

“When you’ve got [cars] parked on either side, it basically forces it to become a one-way road, but yet, you’ve got traffic entering from both ends,” Martin said. “We have been blocked at our house by cars coming from either direction, honking at each other, not permitting us to leave.”

Gareth Mugeli said he often finds trash littered outside his home.

“I come home from work and walk around the perimeter of our property, and I pick up trash pretty much once [an] evening, especially on the weekend,” Mugeli said.

Mugeli also noted safety concerns for his young children due to the high volume of vehicles along the street.

Before voting to approve the measure, Mayor Pro Tem Winfred Frazier reminded the property owners in attendance that the ordinance would also restrict the number of vehicles they could have on the street when inviting people to their homes.

What’s next

Although council members acknowledged the new ordinance could cause cars to park further down the road, they said those property owners would be afforded the same opportunity to petition for a similar ordinance in the future.