Clear Lake City (Greater Houston)

Coordinates: 29°33′18″N 95°6′54″W / 29.55500°N 95.11500°W / 29.55500; -95.11500
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Clear Lake City
Housing development
Harris County Courthouse Bay Area Annex
Harris County Courthouse Bay Area Annex
Clear Lake City is located in Texas
Clear Lake City
Clear Lake City
Location within the state of Texas
Clear Lake City is located in the United States
Clear Lake City
Clear Lake City
Clear Lake City (the United States)
Coordinates: 29°33′18″N 95°6′54″W / 29.55500°N 95.11500°W / 29.55500; -95.11500
CountryUnited States
20 ft (6 m)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)281, 713, 832
GNIS feature ID1377174[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, 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. 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.[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]

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.[6] 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.[7] Metro Airlines eventually ceased operations due to financial challenges.[citation needed] The Clear Lake City STOLport was subsequently abandoned and then demolished. There is no trace of this pioneering airfield to be found at the present time, and the land has been developed for commercial and residential use.

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.[8] The 1977 annexation added 3,174 acres (1,284 ha) of land to the Houston city limits.[9] At the time, under a Texas law established in 1963, a city of more than 100,000 people could unilaterally annex an unincorporated area. Proponents stated that the annexation allowed Houston to maintain a healthy tax base which would therefore keep taxes low and stimulate economic growth. This meant Texas cities would avoid the fates of Northern cities, locked in by other cities, which saw their tax bases relocate out of their respective city limits.[10]

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.[11]


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

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Local government[edit]

Houston Police Department Clear Lake Station

The Clear Lake City Water Authority serves the community.[13] 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.[14]

Houston City Council District E serves portions of Clear Lake City within Houston.[15]

Harris Health System (formerly Harris County Hospital District) designated Strawberry Health Center in Pasadena for ZIP code 77058. The nearest public hospital is Ben Taub General Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.[16]

Fire service[edit]

The area was served from 1963 until sometime in the mid- to late-1990s by the Clear Lake City Volunteer Fire Department (CLCVFD). The CLCCA funded the CLCVFD and the CLCWA provided the fire station and surrounding land. When the CLCVFD ceased operations due to reduced funding as a result of Houston's annexation of the majority of CLCVFD's service area, the building did a brief stint as the headquarters of the Clear Lake Emergency Medical Corps (CLEMC). The building is currently a maintenance depot for the CLCWA, which has held title to the building and surrounding land since the CLCWA's inception. The fire departments of Houston, Pasadena, and Taylor Lake Village currently 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.[17] The city introduced plans to provide services for the Pipers Meadow area, which was annexed in 1994. A new Houston fire station #94 serving Piper's Meadow, Sterling Knoll, and surrounding areas within the city was built in January 2005. This new fire station had a price of $2,644,438.[18]

Police service[edit]

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.[19] Pasadena Police Department is the police department for Pasadena. The police department for Taylor Lake Village is the Lakeview Police Department, formed in January 1987 by a merger of the police departments of Taylor Lake Village and El Lago.[20] Police protection is also provided by the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) and the Harris County Precinct 8 Constable's Office (HCCO Pct 8).

County, state, and federal representation[edit]

Harris County operates the County Courthouse Bay Area Annex, including a tax office, on Buccaneer Lane in Clear Lake City, Houston.[21]

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.[22][23]


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.[24] 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.[25]


Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) operates the Bay Area Park and Ride.[26] In addition Harris County Transit operates services going through Clear Lake City.[27]


Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Clear Lake High School

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.[28][29] As of 2008, they are represented by Win Weber and Ken Baliker, respectively.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] The Clear Lake Christian School is located in the Bay Knoll neighborhood in Clear Lake City.[33]

Colleges and universities[edit]

University of Houston–Clear Lake

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).

Residents of the Harris County part of Clear Creek ISD (and therefore Clear Lake City) are zoned to San Jacinto College.[34]


From 1961 until 1992, the Lunar and Planetary Institute was housed in the mansion until it moved to a bigger, more modern building. In 2013 the property was sold to former basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon's property management company, and for years it was a high-end men's clothing store called DR34M ("Dream", after Olajuwon's nickname and with a stylized "34" representing his jersey number). The mansion was demolished in November 2019.[35]

Public libraries[edit]

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.[36]

Gallery of schools[edit]

Parks and recreation[edit]

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. 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.[37]

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]

The Clear Lake Golf Course opened in 1963 and closed in 2005.[38] It took up about 180 acres (73 ha) of land. The Clear Lake City Water Authority (CLCWA) took possession of the property.[39] The CLCWA proposed a storm detention area and a dog park for the former property.[40]


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.[41] The Clear Lake Symphony offer performances each year from classical to "pops".[42] The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake, a group of 50 area arts organizations, regularly schedules arts exhibits, musical performances, and other arts programs.[43]

The Gulf Coast Film Festival annually showcases independent films from local, regional and international artists in various categories ranging from short films to documentaries.[44] 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.[45]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Clear Lake City, Texas". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  2. ^ 1990 Map Archived 2010-09-22 at the Wayback Machine. 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 Archived 2008-12-01 at the Wayback Machine." Clear Lake City Community Association, Inc.. Retrieved on January 4, 2009.
  6. ^ Paul Freeman (2019-11-25). "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Texas: Southeastern Houston area". Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  7. ^ Feb. 1, 1976 Official Airline Guide (OAG), North American edition, Clear Lake City (CLC) - Houston Intercontinental (IAH) flight schedules
  8. ^ Murray, Dr. Richard. "Governance in Houston: A Hamiltonian Model of Municipal Power in Action" (DOC). Blueprint Houston. Retrieved 8 Nov 2009.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Stevens, William K. (1978-03-18). "Suburb Is Fighting Annexation by Houston". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  11. ^ Rodriguez, Lori. "Census tracks rapid growth of suburbia." Houston Chronicle. Sunday March 10, 1991. Section A, Page 1.
  12. ^ Clear Creek from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 29 Oct 2009. Texas State Historical Association
  13. ^ "Boundary Map." Clear Lake City Water Authority. Retrieved on October 24, 2009.
  14. ^ "General Information." Clear Lake City Water Authority. Retrieved on October 24, 2009.
  15. ^ City of Houston, Council District Maps, District E Archived 2012-06-25 at the Wayback Machine." City of Houston. Retrieved on November 5, 2011.
  16. ^ "Clinic/Emergency/Registration Center Directory By ZIP Code". Harris County Hospital District. 2001-11-19. Archived from the original on 2001-11-19. Retrieved 2021-04-08. - See ZIP code 77058. See this map for relevant ZIP code.
  17. ^ "Fire Station 72 Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  18. ^ "Fire Station 94 Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine." City of Houston. Retrieved on May 8, 2010.
  19. ^ "Beat Map Archived October 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." Houston Police Department. Retrieved on April 5, 2010.
  20. ^ "Home." Lakeview Police Department. Retrieved on March 18, 2014. The Harris County Constable Precinct 8 also provides law enforcement services to the areas with Pipers Meadow including all the subdivisions within Clear Lake City.
  21. ^ Harris County Branch Tax Office Locations Archived April 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine accessed October 13, 2008.
  22. ^ US Post Office Location - ALBERT THOMAS retrieved on December 6, 2008
  23. ^ Post Office Location - NASSAU BAY retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  24. ^ "Clear Lake Real Estate". Houston Texas Real Estate. Retrieved 24 Jan 2010.
  25. ^ Ross-Nazzal, Jennifer M., Rebecca Wright, and Sandra L. Johnson. "The Community of Moonwalkers: How NASA impacted the Clear Lake Area, 1962-1972", Sound Historian 10, (October 2007):1-8. Wright, Rebecca. "A Home for Heroes." Houston History 6, no. 1 (Fall 2008): 46-51
  26. ^ "BAY AREA PARK & RIDE Archived 2011-06-22 at the Wayback Machine." Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County. Retrieved on July 3, 2011.
  27. ^ "Clear Lake/La Porte/Seabrook 5 Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine." Harris County Transit. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  28. ^ District 2 Map Archived February 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Clear Creek Independent School District. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  29. ^ District 3 Map Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine. Clear Creek Independent School District. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  30. ^ "School Board Members: Bios and Contact Information Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine." Clear Creek Independent School District. Retrieved on December 6, 2008.
  31. ^ Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982–1983 Through 1999–2002 (PDF) Archived March 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "St. Clare of Assisi School Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine." Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Retrieved on December 10, 2008.
  33. ^ "About CLCS." Clear Lake Christian School. Retrieved on October 8, 2009.
  34. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.197. SAN JACINTO COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..
  35. ^ Gray, Lisa. "The historic West Mansion — a remnant of Houston's cattle ranching, oil and space eras — is razed". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  36. ^ "Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine." Harris County Public Library. Retrieved on November 29, 2008.
  37. ^ "Sylvan Rodriguez Park Archived 2009-01-16 at the Wayback Machine." City of Houston. Retrieved on January 4, 2009.
  38. ^ Meeks, Flori (2013-02-19). "Proposed master plan for former Clear Lake Golf Club to be presented Feb. 21". Houston Chronicle. The Bay Area Citizen. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  39. ^ Newpher, Jeff (2012-08-31). "Residents hear wide range of plans for old Clear Lake golf course". Houston Chronicle. The Bay Area Citizen. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  40. ^ Bobb, Maurice (2012-09-04). "Former Clear Lake golf course could 'go to the dogs'". Houston Chronicle. The Bay Area Citizen. Retrieved 2020-06-02.
  41. ^ "Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre". Bay Area Houston Ballet & Theatre. Retrieved 5 Sep 2009.
  42. ^ Kearney, Syd (2005). A Marmac Guide to Houston and Galveston. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Company. p. 76. ISBN 1-58980-322-1.
  43. ^ "Come See What's Behind the Blue Doors". The Arts Alliance at Clear Lake. Archived from the original on 2009-07-17. Retrieved 5 Sep 2009.
  44. ^ "About Us". Gulf Coast Film Festival. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 7 January 2010.
  45. ^ John F. Purner. (2004). 101 Best Aviation Attractions. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 213. ISBN 0-07-142519-5.
  46. ^ "Bobby Burling". MLS Soccer. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
  47. ^ "HRH the Crown Princess - the Danish Monarchy". Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  48. ^ "Kevin Kwan's 'crazy rich Asian' life has Texas roots".
  49. ^ "Clear Lake Legend Gets His Name in Lights". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 3, 2018.

External links[edit]