Town of Smithfield / Planning Board

Town of Smithfield / Planning Board

64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI 02917

(401) 233-1017

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Town of Smithfield / Planning Board Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain To: All interested Agencies, Groups and Individuals A. ThisistogivenoticethattheTownofSmith eldhasconductedanevaluationasrequiredbyExecutiveOrder11988 and 11990 in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C Procedures for Making Determinations on Flood- plainManagementandWetlandsProtection. TheactivityisfundedundertheCommunityDevelopmentBlockGrant(CDBG) program, Contract #16/31/29. The proposed project known as the Georgiaville Village Green is an affordable housing project consisting of the construction of forty-two (42) new affordable rental housing family apartments for ve (5) households not exceeding 50% AMI and thirty-seven (37) households earning no more than 60% AMI. The proposed project is on a 10.18 acre lot located at 29 Whipple Avenue in Smith eld, RI, 02917, Providence County. There are nine (9) residential buildings with atotalfootprintof26,820squarefeet. Theprojectalsoinvolvestheinstallationofnewutilities(sewerandwater),drainage and new roadways. The project will be developed in the former location of the Narragansett Gray Iron Foundry. Floodplain: A portion of the subject property is located within the 100-year oodplain (Zone AE) associated with the WoonasquatucketRiver.Approximately43,000squarefeetof oodplainislocatedwithintheboundariesofthelot. The development portion of site is not located in a ood zone and no disturbance of the oodplain area is proposed. Accordingly, there will be no loss of oodwater storage, oodwater conveyance or loss of any of the other natural and bene cial functions of the oodplain and, therefore no mitigation is necessary. Wetlands: Three freshwater wetland types are present in the area. These wetlands include a riverbank wetland, special aquatic sites and a forested wetland. The riverbank wetland extends 200 feet west of the Woonasquatucket Rivers west bank. The riverbank wetland occupies approximately 2.27 acres on this lot. Within the riverbank wetland, the special aquatic sites occupy approximately 0.10 acres, deciduous forest occupies approximately 0.38 acres, forested wetland occupies approximate- ly 0.01 acres and the grass/shrubland occupies approximately 1.78 located adjacent to the 100-year oodplain, and freshwater wetlands. B. TheTownofSmith eldhasconsideredthefollowingalternativesandmitigationmeasureswillbetakentominimize adverse impacts and to restore and preserve natural and bene cial values of the riverbank wetland: 1. There are a very limited number of sites that are appropriately zoned for multi-family housing development within theTownofSmith eldandthatmeettheabovestatedcriteria. Mostoftheappropriatelyzonedsiteshavebeendevelopedor areintheprocessofbeingdevelopedandwerenotavailableforacquisition. The29WhippleAvenuesitewasapprovedfor42 unitsofmulti-familyhousingin2008andalsomeetstheselectioncriteria. TheRhodeIslandDepartmentofEnvironmental Management (RIDEM) found that the project would result in minimal disturbance to onsite wetlands and that there will be nodevelopmentwithinthe oodplain. BasedonthesefactorsRIDEMissuedanInsigni cantAlterationPermitfortheproject and led to the Towns determination that there were no practicable alternatives to the development at the 29 Whipple Avenue site. 2. No Action or Alternative Actions that Serve the Same Purpose A no action alternative was considered and rejected because the Towns Comprehensive Community Plan clearly identi es a signi cant need for affordable housing in the Town ofSmith eld. ThecurrenthousingstockinSmith elddoesnotincludeasuf cientnumberofunitstoaccommodatethe number of low income families seeking affordable rental housing. The proposed project represents a substantial increase in the number of affordable housing units needed as the Town strives to achieve 10% affordability threshold by 2050, as required undertheLowandModerateIncomeHousingAct(Act). TheTowncurrentlyhasa5.2%LMIcomponentwhichisprimarily madeupofelderlyhousing. Infact,only6percentoftheTownsLMIunitsarefamilyunitsandnoneofthosearerental units. TheGeorgiavilleVillageGreenprojectrepresentsthe rstfamilyrentalLMIprojectinthecommunityandwillprovide affordable rental housing apartments for ve (5) households not exceeding 50% AMI and thirty-seven (37) households earningnomorethan60%AMI. TheneedforfamilyLMIhousingasexpressedintheHousingelementoftheComprehensive Community Plan out weight the minimal impacts to wetlands with the proposed mitigation and the fact that no development is proposed within the oodplain. Floodplains: As stated, the project does not alter or damage the oodplain or its natural functions as no disturbance, paving or other obstructions are proposed within the 100 year oodplain associated with the Woonasquatucket River. Wetland Mitigation: The proposed project will result in a reduction of grass/shrubland habitat within the 200 riverbank wetland. The areas to be altered are already degraded from man-made debris and other features left behind from the demolition of the former foundry. The mitigation includes the cleanup of old rubbish on the property will also occur within the resource areas that are not to be altered, and therefore the overall quality of these habitats will be enhanced as they retain a naturally vegetated composition. The areas to be altered are also dominated by invasive species such as Russian Olive, Multi ora Rose and Oriental Bittersweet. The proposed mitigation in these areas will be to remove the invasive species and replant with native species. The reintroduction of the native species will eventually lead to the restoration the natural functions and values of theriverbankwetland. Theprojectemploysperviouspavementdrainagesystemforalldrivewaysandparkingareasthatare designed to attenuate the peak ow for the 10 year and 100 year, 24 hour Type III design storm events and provide exceptional groundwaterrechargeratesthathelptorestorethenaturalfunctionsofthewetlandsandassociatedbuffers. SoilErosionand SedimentationControlPracticeshavebeenemployedtoavoidandminimizeimpactstoadjacentwetlandresources. Siltfence andstrawwaddlesareproposedalongthelimitsofdisturbance. Onceestablished,thesemeasureswillbemonitoreddaily untilconstructionactivitiesarecomplete. Thesiltfencelinewillserveasthestrictlimitsofdisturbancefortheprojectwithin oradjacenttoregulatedfreshwaterwetlandareas. Noalterations,includingvegetativeclearingorsurfacedisturbance,will occurbeyondthissiltfenceline. Thelimitsofclearing,grading,anddisturbancewillbekepttoaminimumwithinthepro- posedareaofconstruction. Allareasoutsideoftheselimits,asdepictedontheprojectsiteplans,willbetotallyundisturbed, toremaininacompletelynaturalcondition. RIDEMissuedanInsigni cantAlterationPermitNo.16-0235onDecember9, 2016 based on the impact avoidance and minimization efforts of the project designers. C. TheTownofSmith eldhasreevaluatedthealternativestobuildinginthewetlandandhasdeterminedthatthere is no practicable alternative. Environmental les that document compliance with steps 3 through 6 of Executive Order 11988 and 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. D. Therearethreeprimarypurposesforthisnotice.First,peoplewhomaybeaffectedbyactivitiesin oodplainsand 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 about oodplains and wetlands can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks associated with the occupancy and modi cation of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the Federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in oodplains, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk. E. WrittencommentsmustbereceivedbytheTownofSmith eldatthefollowingaddressonorbeforeMarch29,2019: 64FarnumPike,Smith eld,RI02917,(401)233-1017,Attention:MichaelPhillips,TownPlanner. Afulldescriptionofthe projectmayalsobereviewedduringnormalbusinesshours,8:30-4:30atthesameaddressasabove. Commentsmayalsobe submitted via email at mphillips@smith Date: March 21, 2019