Clear Lake, TX Real Estate
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About Clear Lake
Clear Lake City is a master-planned community located in southeast Harris County, Texas, within the Bay Area of Greater Houston. It is the second-largest master-planned community in Houston — behind Kingwood. The majority of the community lies in the corporate limits of Houston, while a northern portion is in the city limits of Pasadena and a small eastern portion within the city limits of Taylor Lake Village.
The community is adjacent to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, as well as other major aerospace companies—including Boeing and Lockheed-Martin. The community and its adjacent areas have a high concentration of engineers due to both NASA and the local petrochemical and biomedical industries.
The first substantial development on the land Clear Lake City now occupies was accomplished by James Marion West, who came to Texas from Mississippi as a boy in 1880. West became a wealthy businessman with interests in ranching, lumber, and oil. His main ranch property and the site of his home was around the shores of Clear Lake and Clear Creek.
Humble Oil (now ExxonMobil) purchased the property from West in 1938 after oil was discovered. Most of the property remained undeveloped until, following the decision to establish the Johnson Space Center in the area, Humble Oil’s venture, the Friendswood Development Company, made plans to establish a residential development. The company established the Clear Lake City Community Association, Inc. (CLCCA) in 1963.
Clear Lake City was the former location of the Clear Lake City STOLport, a private airport constructed and owned by Houston Metro Airlines which was located on State Highway 3 just south of Ellington Field.[where?] This commuter airline operated up to 22 roundtrip flights every weekday in the mid 1970s between Clear Lake City (CLC) and Houston Intercontinental Airport (IAH) with de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter STOL (short take off and landing) turboprop aircraft. Metro Airlines eventually ceased operations due to financial challenges. The Clear Lake City STOLport was subsequently abandoned and then demolished to make way for new development. There is no trace of this pioneering airfield to be found at the present time.
The portion of Clear Lake City that was Houston’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) was annexed by the city of Houston in 1977 despite a grass-roots campaign by its residents to stop it. Their slogan was “Free The Clear Lake 25,000!” Lawsuits over the annexation resulted in the conversion of Houston city government from at-large city councilmen to the current-day nine district and five at-large council seats. The 1977 annexation added 3,174 acres (1,284 ha) of land to the Houston city limits.
The eastern portion in Pasadena’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) was eventually annexed by the city of Pasadena.
Since 1980, part of Clear Lake City within the Houston City Limits is located in Council District E.
From the 1980 U.S. Census to the 1990 Census, many Asian-Americans settled in Clear Lake City. They were mostly Chinese American, Indian American, and Pakistani American with some Vietnamese Americans.
The community was named Clear Lake City for Clear Lake, which lies south of the Johnson Space Center and, along with Clear Creek, separates Harris County from Galveston County. The lake is effectively the mouth of Clear Creek which empties into Galveston Bay.
Clear Lake City is itself subdivided into various neighborhoods. These include Bay Forest, Bay Glen, Bay Knoll, Bay Oaks, Bay Pointe, Brook Forest, Brookwood, Clear Lake Forest, Camino South, Meadowgreen, Middlebrook, Northfork, Oakbrook, Oakbrook West, Pipers Meadow, and Pinebrook. The growth of the subdivisions in Clear Lake resulted from the employment of thousands of people by NASA’s then-new Manned Spacecraft Center (now the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center). Land values rose nearly 300%.
In the neighborhood of Timber Cove, the local pool was designed in the shape of the Mercury capsule. It was completed in 1963.
Primary & Secondary Schools
Clear Lake City is served by the Clear Creek Independent School District. The community is divided between CCISD Board of Trustees Districts 2 and 3. As of 2008, they are represented by Win Weber and Ken Baliker, respectively. Two high schools in the district, Clear Lake High School and Clear Brook High School, serve the community.
Clear Lake Intermediate School and Space Center Intermediate School serve sections of Clear Lake City. Clear Lake Intermediate was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 1986-87.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston operates the St. Clare of Assisi school in the community. St. Bernadette Catholic Church also offers early childhood education. The Clear Lake Christian School is located in the Bay Knoll neighborhood in Clear Lake City.
Colleges & Universities
The University of Houston–Clear Lake is adjacent to the community (the majority of the 520-acre (2.1 km2) UHCL campus lies in the corporate limits of Pasadena, while the part of campus south of Horsepen Bayou lies in the city of Houston).
The West mansion in Pasadena Clear Lake is still located on NASA Parkway overlooking Clear Lake. For years, the Lunar and Planetary Institute was housed in the mansion until it moved to a bigger, more modern building. The property was sold to former basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon’s property management company for future development.
The 42,000 square feet (3,900 m2) Clear Lake City–County Freeman Branch is administered by Harris County Public Library, and is funded in part by the Houston Public Library. The Freeman Branch Library, named after Theodore C. Freeman, opened in 1964. It moved to the Harris County multipurpose annex in 1976. The current city-county facility opened in 2004. The Friends of the Freeman Library raises $80,000 annually to fund the library.
The City of Houston operates the Sylvan Rodriguez Park on Clear Lake City Boulevard. In 1991 the city purchased a 111.46 acres (45.11 ha) property for $1,399,000. In 1999 the city appropriated $2.5 million to begin building the park. In 2001 the park received its current name. Bay Area Park is also home to an off leash dog park, which offers both small dog and large dog areas. It is located on Bay Area Blvd next to the University of Houston Clear Lake and the Armand Bayou Nature Center.
The Clear Lake City Community Association, Inc. (CLCAA) operates the Kermet H. Applewhite Sports and Recreation Center at 16511 Diana Lane. The center includes an indoor heated pool, a fitness room, several outdoor pools, an air-conditioned gymnasium, and tennis courts.
A number of cultural events occur in and near the community. The Bay Area Houston Ballet and Theatre group stages ballet and American musical theater performances. The Clear Lake Symphony offer performances each year from classical to “pops”. The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake, a group of 50 area arts organizations, regularly schedules arts exhibits, musical performances, and other arts programs.
The Gulf Coast Film Festival annually showcases independent films from local, regional and international artists in various categories ranging from short films to documentaries. The Ballunar Festival is an annual hot-air balloon spectacular. The Wings over Houston Air Fest at Ellington Field offers air acrobatics by military and civilian pilots.