Clear Lake City (Greater Houston)

Clear Lake City (Greater Houston)
Clear Lake City
—  Housing development  —
Clear Lake City is located in Texas
Clear Lake City
Location within the state of Texas
Coordinates: 29°33′18″N 95°6′54″W / 29.555°N 95.115°W / 29.555; -95.115Coordinates: 29°33′18″N 95°6′54″W / 29.555°N 95.115°W / 29.555; -95.115
Country United States
State Texas
County Harris
Elevation 20 ft (6 m)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes
Area code(s) 281, 713, 832
FIPS code
GNIS feature ID 1377174[1]

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.[citation needed] 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.[2]

The community is adjacent to NASA's Johnson Space Center, as well as other major aerospace companies—including Boeing and Lockheed-Martin. Clear Lake City has the largest Asian American concentration within any master-planned communities inside the city of Houston.[citation needed] The community and its adjacent areas have a high concentration of engineers due to both NASA and the local petrochemical 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.[3] 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.[4]

Humble Oil (now ExxonMobil) purchased the property from West in 1938 after oil was discovered.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6] The 1977 annexation added 3,174 acres (1,284 ha) of land to the Houston city limits.[7]

The eastern portion in Pasadena's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) was eventually annexed by the city of Pasadena.[citation needed]

Since 1980, part of Clear Lake City within the Houston City Limits is located in Council District E.[citation needed]

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.[8]


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.[4][9] The lake is effectively the mouth of Clear Creek which empties into Galveston Bay.

Government and infrastructure

Local government

The Clear Lake City Water Authority serves the community.[10] The authority was created on May 6, 1963 by House Bill 1003 during the regular session of the 58th Legislature of Texas. When it was created the authority had 12,269 acres (49.65 km2; 19.170 sq mi) of land in its jurisdiction. Due to annexations, as of 2009 the authority now has 16,098 acres (65.15 km2; 25.153 sq mi) of land in its jurisdiction.[11]

Houston City Council District E serves portions of Clear Lake City within Houston.[12]

The fire departments of Houston, Pasadena, and Taylor Lake Village serve sections of Clear Lake City. The Houston Fire Department serves areas of Clear Lake City within the City of Houston limits. In 1978, City of Houston officials contracted with the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center to open a fire station on the base.[13] The city introduced plans to provide services for the Pipers Meadow area, which was annexed in 1994. in January 2005. This new fire station had a price of $2,644,438.[14]

The police departments of Houston, Pasadena, and Taylor Lake Village serve sections of Clear Lake City. The Houston Police Department serves areas of Clear Lake City within the City of Houston limits. The Clear Lake Patrol Division serves the portion of Clear Lake City in Houston.[15]

County, state, and federal representation

Harris County Courthouse Bay Area Annex

Harris County operates the County Courthouse Bay Area Annex, including a tax office, on Buccaneer Lane in Clear Lake City, Houston.[16]

The United States Postal Service operates the Albert Thomas Post Office on El Camino Real Drive in Houston and the Nassau Bay Post Office on Upper Bay Road in Nassau Bay, near Clear Lake City.[17][18]


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, and Northfork, Oakbrook, Oakbrook West, and Pinebrook.[19]


Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) operates the Bay Area Park and Ride.[20] In addition Harris County Transit operates services going through Clear Lake City.[21]


Primary and secondary schools

Clear Lake High School

Pupils in Clear Lake City attend Clear Creek Independent School District. The community is divided between the Board of Trustee District 2 and the Board of Trustee District 3,.[22][23] They are represented by Win Weber and Ken Baliker, respectively, as of 2008.[24] Four high schools in the district—Clear Brook High School and Clear Lake High School (Clear Springs and Clear Crrek serve the district but not Clear Lake. Clear Horizons and Clear View —serve the community. Despite being located in Houston and Pasadena, it is not served by the Houston Independent School District nor the Pasadena Independent School District.[clarification needed]

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.[25]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston operates the St. Clare of Assisi school in the community.[26] The Clear Lake Christian School is located in the Pineloch neighborhood in Clear Lake City.[27]

Colleges and 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.[citation needed]

Public libraries

Clear Lake City–County Freeman Branch

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.[28]

Gallery of schools

Parks and recreation

Sylvan Rodriguez Park

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.[29]

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.[5]


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.[30] The Clear Lake Symphony offer performances each year from classical to "pops".[31] The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake, a group of 50 area arts organizations, regularly schedules arts exibihits, musical performances, and other arts programs.[32]

The Gulf Coast Film Festival annually showcases independent films from local, regional and international artists in various categories ranging from short films to documentaries.[33] 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.[34]

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ "Clear Lake City, Texas". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ 1990 Map. Friendswood Development Company. Retrieved on October 24, 2009.
  3. ^ West, James Marion from the Handbook of Texas Online
  4. ^ a b c Clear Lake City, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online
  5. ^ a b "About CLCAA." Clear Lake City Community Association, Inc.. Retrieved on January 4, 2009.
  6. ^ Murray, Dr. Richard. [annex the Clear Lake "Governance in Houston: A Hamiltonian Model of Municipal Power in Action"]. Blueprint Houston. annex the Clear Lake. Retrieved 8 Nov 2009. 
  7. ^ Lee, Renée C. "Annexed Kingwood split on effects." Houston Chronicle. Sunday October 8, 2006. A21. Retrieved on July 6, 2011. Print version exclusively has the information cited; the information is not included in the online edition.
  8. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Census tracks rapid growth of suburbia." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 10, 1991. Section A, Page 1.
  9. ^ Clear Creek from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 29 Oct 2009. Texas State Historical Association
  10. ^ "Boundary Map." Clear Lake City Water Authority. Retrieved on October 24, 2009.
  11. ^ "General Information." Clear Lake City Water Authority. Retrieved on October 24, 2009.
  12. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District E." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  13. ^ "Fire Station 72." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  14. ^ "Fire Station 94." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  15. ^ "Beat Map." Houston Police Department. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  16. ^ Harris County Branch Tax Office Locations accessed October 13, 2008.
  17. ^ US Post Office Location - ALBERT THOMAS retrieved on December 6, 2008
  18. ^ Post Office Location - NASSAU BAY retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  19. ^ "Clear Lake Real Estate". Houston Texas Real Estate. Retrieved 24 Jan 2010. 
  20. ^ "BAY AREA PARK & RIDE." Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. Retrieved on July 3, 2011.
  21. ^ "Clear Lake/La Porte/Seabrook 5." Harris County Transit. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  22. ^ District 2 Map. Clear Creek Independent School District. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  23. ^ District 3 Map. Clear Creek Independent School District. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  24. ^ "School Board Members: Bios and Contact Information." Clear Creek Independent School District. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  25. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982–1983 Through 1999–2002 (PDF)
  26. ^ "St. Clare of Assisi School." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  27. ^ "About CLCS." Clear Lake Christian School. Retrieved on October 8, 2009.
  28. ^ "Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library." Harris County Public Library. Retrieved on November 29, 2008.
  29. ^ "Sylvan Rodriguez Park." City of Houston. Retrieved on January 4, 2009.
  30. ^ "Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre". Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre. Retrieved 5 Sept. 2009. 
  31. ^ Kearney, Syd (2005). A Marmac Guide to Houston and Galveston. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company. p. 76. ISBN 1589803221. 
  32. ^ "Come See What's Behind the Blue Doors". The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake. Retrieved 5 Sept. 2009. 
  33. ^ "About Us". Gulf Coast Film Festival. Retrieved 7 Jan 2010. 
  34. ^ John F. Purner. (2004). 101 Best Aviation Attractions. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 213. ISBN 0071425195. 
  35. ^ "Family, friends say goodbye to Yates children." USA Today. June 27, 2001. Retrieved on October 24, 2009.

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