December 28, 2023

Ready for Another Busy Year Ahead

The city organization is in a really good place right now.  We’ve filled a ton of vacancies over the past year, which has allowed our departments to thrive rather than just survive.  Among recent new hires is an Assistant City Manager, who as a licensed PE will also serve as in-house City Engineer.  For the City Manager, being all set with her team is huge as she’ll finally have some breathing room to focus on the big-picture strategy that’s central to her job description.  As we welcome a new Mayor and Council at the start of 2024, city staff have already turned the page and are eager to get after it and tackle the work at hand.

December 21, 2023

New Standards for New Lighting

As challenging as it was coming up with our noise ordinance a few months back, the companion subject of lighting proved even more difficult.  It’s a bit of a different animal in that offensive noise is generally an occurrence, whereas light trespass is continuous until corrected.  One is more behavioral in nature, the other physical.  Also, while it is still Council’s intention to see how things go and later make adjustments as needed, that approach doesn’t work as well with lighting as it does with noise.  For now, we’ve adopted new lighting standards on a prospective basis only, as we have yet to figure out how to address existing light sources without imposing undue burden on their owners.

December 11, 2023

Relocating METRO’s Bellaire Transit Center

It’s a question I’ve been asked from time to time, and more often of late since it was brought up on the campaign trail and got people talking.  Now that we’re through election season, a blog post on the subject is in order.

The City of Bellaire does not have authority to relocate the Bellaire Transit Center; if METRO is going to do so, it’ll be because it makes sense for METRO.

That we may feel it no longer benefits us isn’t what’s going to move the needle.  Rather, it’s that it would work better—for METRO—if it were situated further west.

Many in Bellaire will be glad to know METRO gets that, too.  While plans could still change and there are no guarantees or commitments as to timing, the future of the transit center indeed looks to be headed in that direction.