Details for HUD WETLAND

Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a Wetland To: All interested Agencies, Groups and Individuals This is to give notice that the HUD under part 50 has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Order 11990, in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management and Wetlands Protection. The activity is funded Section 221(d)(4) New Construction of the National Housing Act. The proposed project is located on State Highway 36 at Piper Road, in Covington, Newton County. The tax assessors' parcel ID numbers are C064000000024000 and C064000000024C00. The proposed development is for the construction of eight (8) three-story apartment buildings, which will house 180 multifamily residential dwelling units and a single-story clubhouse building. Additional property improvements will include an in-ground swimming pool, playground, tot lot, large picnic pavilion, small picnic pavilion, landscaped regions and asphalt parking areas. The apartment complex is to be constructed on two contiguous rectangular-shaped parcels totaling 15.08 acres of land and will be known as Arbours at Covington (FHA # 061-35905). Currently, the Subject Property consists of undeveloped woodlands with a vacant single-family residential dwelling and associated sheds and barns on the northern portion of the property. An intermittent stream bed is located in the central portion of the Subject Property and bisects the property from east to west. According to the NWI Wetlands Mapper, a small Riverine Wetland area is depicted on the west central portion of the Subject Property in the proximity of the intermittent stream observed during the site inspection. According to the Arbours at Covington Delineation and Permit Review, produced by Kenan Environmental Limited, on March 28, 2018, a jurisdictional stream was identified within the boundaries of the property. Stream A is an unnamed tributary of Dried Indian Creek and flows east to west for approximately 0.6 miles until it reached Dried Indian Creek. Dried Indian Creek flows south and then southwest into the Yellow River. No jurisdictional wetlands were identified on the Subject Property. Stream A will be impacted during the development of the property due to a road crossing. Per the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division, a 25-foot buffer from the point of wrested vegetation, which is the point along the bank of the stream at which there is no vegetation growing, will need to be maintained during the development process. Stream A will be impacted by a proposed roadway joining the north and south portions of the overall tract. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) regulates dredge and fill activities as well as authorizes permitted activities within these waters. Impacts to small areas (less than 1/2-acre wetland and 300 linear feet of stream) can be authorized using the Nationwide Permit Program. This permit has been issued by the ACOE (Permit #SAS-2019-00193) and the project is intended to be developed within the guidelines set forth in the permit. Permanent impacts to the stream will be approximately 95 linear feet. HUD has considered the following alternatives and mitigation measures to be taken to minimize adverse impacts and to restore and preserve natural and beneficial values. As proposed the residential development will also minimize impervious surfaces, with the installation of green space in the form of stormwater detention basins, maintain pervious landscaping around and between all proposed structures and maintaining the mandatory 25-foot buffer between development and the stream channel. These practices will lessen the overall impact of surface water runoff on the area surface water features. Development of the parcel will require that the developer minimize the land disturbance (including access and staging areas), retain and preserve indigenous/existing vegetation and minimize post-development impervious surfaces. Maintaining the above-mentioned areas as green space and detention ponds will allow for percolation into the ground, lessening the overall impact of surface water runoff on the areas surface water features. Development of the parcel will require that the developer minimize the land disturbance (including access and staging areas), retain and preserve indigenous/existing vegetation and minimize post-development impervious surfaces. As part of mitigation, HUD will require that all special conditions as put forth in the SAS-2019-00193 Permit are implemented and maintained. The conditions put forth include, that all activity conducted in accordance with the information submitted and meets the conditions applicable to the NWP, as described in Part C of the NWP Program and the Savannah District's Regional Conditions for NWPs. The authorized work shall not exceed 95 linear feet of stream impact on the on-site intermittent stream. The developer shall require its contractors and/or agent to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit in the construction and maintenance of this project, as well as provide all parties with a copy of the permit. The permittee shall obtain and comply with all appropriate federal, state and local authorizations required for this type of activity. All work conducted under the permit shall be located, outline, designed, constructed and operated in accordance with the minimal requirements of the Georgia Erosion and Sedimentation Control Act (GA ESCA) of 1975. Additionally, the permittee shall install and maintain erosion and sediment control measures in upland areas of the project site in accordance with the GA ESCA of 1975, as amended to minimize the introduction of sediment into and the erosion of streams, wetlands and other water of the United States. The permittee shall install and maintain erosion and sediment control measures for all fill material that is authorized to be discharged into the streams, wetlands and other waters of the United States. The permittee shall notify the US ACOE in writing at least 10 days in advance of commencement of the work authorized by the permit. Additionally, the US ACOE determined that the project would have no effect on any threatened or endangered species nor any critical habitat for such species. This verification is valid until the NWP is modified, reissued or revoked. The NWP will expire on March 18, 2022. Effort was made to reconfigure the proposed development in an alternate layout to avoid the impact to the stream, while still meeting the all code requirements for parking space, drive aisles and fire lanes, etc. The developer attempted to configure the building layout in such a way as to not affect the stream channel. No solution was found that would allow the project to meet the code requirements without impacting the stream channel. The option to reduce the number of buildings/residential dwelling units, or divide the parcel and not have an access road from one side to the other; therefore avoiding impact to the stream channel is not a viable option as all approval, land purchase value, financing, underwriting, etc., have been based on the construction of a 180-unit apartment complex. Elimination of any residential buildings and the associated apartments units would make the project financially infeasible. HUD has reevaluated the alternatives to building over the stream and the US ACOE Regulatory Division Permit SAS-2019-00193. Upon evaluation of the permit, the site and noting all the requirements outlined in the permit, HUD has determined that there is no practicable alternative to the selected site. Environmental files that document compliance with steps 3 through 6 of Executive Order 11990, will be available for public inspection, review and copying upon request at the times and location delineated in the last paragraph of this notice for receipt of comments. There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in wetlands and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. Second, an adequate public notice program can be an important public educational tool. The dissemination of information and request for public comment about wetlands can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks and impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the Federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in wetlands, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk. Written comments must be received by no later than June 19, 2019. They should be address to: Mr. Greg Adams HUD Review Appraiser Atlanta Regional Office, Multifamily Production U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 40 Marietta Street - 12th Floor Atlanta, GA 30303 Mr. Adams' direct phone number is (678) 732-2272. Comments may also be submitted via email to Greg.W.Adams@hud.gov. A full description of the project may also be reviewed from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday - Friday at address above. LaDonna Mills, acting in her capacity as Production Division Director of the HUD Multifamily Southeast Regional Center, is the HUD Approving Official. Date: June 12, 2019

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