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Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a Wetland To: All interested

The Virginian-Pilot
Inside Business

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 proposed for FHA Mortgage Insurance under HUD 221(d)(4). The proposed project(s) is to be located at 5900 Wesleyan Drive in the City of Virginia Beach. The proposed development consists of the construction of three (3) three-story and five (5) four-story apartment buildings, which will house 249 multi-family residential dwelling units with a two-story clubhouse building. The apartment complex is to be constructed on an irregular shaped parcel totaling 12.845 acres of land and will be known as Proposed Coastal 61 @ Oxford Village. According to the Joint Permit Application, completed by MAP Environmental Inc and dated March 9, 2018, the proposed development will permanently impact 0..077 acres of jurisdictional forested wetlands known as Area B, 0.046 acres of jurisdictional forested wetlands known as Area A and 0.102 acres of non-tidal wetlands waters known as Jurisdictional Ditch by construction of parking lots and buildings at the Subject Property. The joint permit application was to request a State Programmatic General Permit (17-SPGP-01) and coincides with the US Army Corp of Engineers Permit (USACOE) NAO-2017-01721 issued on December 11, 2017. According to the letter from The Nature Conservancy dated March 9, 2018, 0.348 advance non-tidal wetland credits will be purchased from the VARTF site LJ-1 Chickahominy River (Walters) and will be used as compensatory mitigation for impacts to 0.225 acres of non-tidal wetlands. Potential adverse effects associated with the proposed development and the proposed impacts to the wetlands, include the long-term cumulative effects of the incremental loss of aquatic function provided by the wetlands, including in-stream and riparian habitat, sediment and nutrient filtration, stormwater retention, base flow maintenance, groundwater recharge and sediment transport. The increase of stormwater runoff and the effect that, it has on stream stability and functional integrity, not only within in the immediate vicinity of the proposed development, but for many miles downstream is also a long-term effect of the proposed development. Immediate impacts include an increased sediment load in the stream/wetland areas during development, which will be offset by the proper installation and maintenance of erosion control measures. The proposed development plan includes the construction of stomrwater facilities and these measures can substantially reduce the effect of stormwater on the downstream facilities. The anticipated effects of the proposed development, overall would be minimal relative to similar projects in the region and taken alone, do not present a substantial or imminent threat to the stability and integrity of the wetlands and aquatic ecosystem. By implementing the proposed best management practices, such as retention of stormwater and the implementation of sediment and erosion control measures, the effects of the project could be somewhat reduced. A total of 0.123 acres of jurisdictional forested wetlands and 0.102 acres of non-tidal wetlands waters will be impacted by the proposed development. 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 courtyard/green space areas, maintaining the pervious landscaping around and between all proposed structures throughout the property, along with the installation of a stormwater detention basin on the northwestern corner of the Subject Property. Maintaining the above-mentioned areas as green space and pond will allow for percolation into the ground, lessening 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. All required permits will be acquired and carried out in accordance with all local, state and federal regulations. The property is a ground lease with Virginia Wesleyan University; therefore, alternative sites were not investigated. Due to this, effort was taken to reconfigure the proposed development layout to avoid the wetlands, while still meeting the City of Virginia Beach Code requirements for parking space, drive aisles and fire lanes. Due to the odd shape of the property no solution was found that would allow the project to meet the code requirements without impacting the wetlands. The option to reduce the number of buildings/residential dwelling units, to therefore avoid impacting the wetlands is not a viable option as all approval, land purchase value, financing, underwriting, etc., have been based on the construction of a 249-unit apartment complex. Elimination of any residential buildings and the associated apartments units would make the project financially not doable. HUD has reevaluated the alternatives to building in the wetland and has determined that it has no practicable alternative. Environmental files that document compliance with steps 3 through 6 of Executive Order 11990, are 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 HUD at the following address no later than 7 days from the date of this notice. Comments should be addressed to: Stacey Ashmore, Production Division Director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Northeast Region, 26 Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10278-0068, (212) 264-1277. A full description of the project may also be reviewed from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the address listed above. Comments may also be submitted via e-mail at Stacey.L.Ashmore@hud.gov. Date: July 9, 2018 VP 25690779A

Appeared in: The Virginian-Pilot

Published: The Virginian-Pilot - 07/09/2018