After sitting through another flood of negative public comments about the Dynamo Stadium, the Bellaire City Council joined with Mayor Cindy Siegel to send a strong message opposing the Bellaire-area location.
Because the proposed 30-acre site at Westpark Drive and South Rice Avenue is in the Houston city limits, the Bellaire council doesn’t have direct control over what property owner Midway Companies does with the land. The resolution the council passed Monday simply asks stakeholders to reject the Bellaire-area site, and instead support the previous location for the stadium in downtown Houston.
Siegel said her opposition to the Westpark site has nothing to do with the Dynamo — She is a self-confessed fan. It has nothing to do with Midway Companies — Siegel said she is impressed with the company’s other developments.
“We are elected to represent Bellaire,” Siegel said. “And this stadium, I personally believe, is not the right place for it. Because of traffic, congestion, noise, and the impact to the area.”
The resolution that Siegel proposed says the Midway Companies site should be rejected because it would harm adjacent neighborhoods in Bellaire and Houston by increasing traffic and accidents, bringing parking problems and decreasing residents’ quality of life.
The downtown Houston location would be better, the resolution says, because it’s not adjacent to single-family neighborhoods and because the surrounding community supports the stadium there. The site also has better freeway and street access and sufficient parking areas, according to the resolution.
Other council members echoed Siegel’s thoughts on the proposal. Councilwoman Mandy Nathan said public comments at council meetings, and the thoughts of residents who called and emailed her, made it clear what decision she should make.
“I’ve been hearing from the vast majority of people who contacted me. They are opposed to this,” Nathan said. “I think our voices are entitled to be heard.”
Councilman Jim Avioli agreed with Nathan, eliciting a spattering of applause from the audience at Monday’s council meeting.
“I’m here to represent the people. The people said they don’t want the stadium here,” Avioli said. “I support that, I don’t want it either.”
The resolution passed 6-0, with Councilman Corbett Parker abstaining because of his “perceived conflict of interest,” he said. Residents at a previous council meeting criticized Parker after a local newspaper questioned his relationship with Dynamo President Oliver Luck, who appeared at one of Parker’s campaign events. Parker later wrote an exhaustive account of the pair’s previous working friendship on his blog.