Final Notice and Public Explanation of

81637 | 01/22/2021 | Ad id: 8-0000653906-01
Details

Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain

To: All interested Agencies including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and Individuals Residing in and/or Doing Business in Summit County

This is to give notice that the Town of Breckenridge under Part 58 has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Order 11988, in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management, to determine the potential affect that its activity in the floodplain will have on the human environment for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program under Colorado Division of Housing Contract Number H1CDB21064. The proposed project(s) is located at 13250 State Highway 9, Breckenridge, CO 80424 in Summit County, Colorado. The specific elements of this proposed project include the construction of three 2-story apartment buildings comprising 80 apartments, 4 buildings housing garages, and an outdoor community garden and dog yard. 64 of the apartments will be restricted to households earning 60% or less of Area Median Income. The project is seeking $960,000 in CDBG funds and the total project cost is estimated to be $27,332,388. The project encompasses approximately 4-acres, and the buildings' footprint comprises approximately 93,924 square feet, all of which are currently located in a 100-year floodplain. The proposed action, if implemented, would impact a FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Area; reference 08117C0368F.

The Town of Breckenridge has considered the following alternatives and mitigation measures to be taken to minimize adverse impacts and to restore and preserve natural and beneficial values. The Town of Breckenridge began working with FEMA more than 10 years ago to address potential flooding issues throughout this region, including the proposed project site. FEMA has accepted a previously approved Town of Breckenridge facilitated Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) from 2016, prior to the date of the effective mapping. Some of the work associated with this CLOMR is still ongoing, so the Town of Breckenridge has not yet requested a final Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) from FEMA. Although the CLOMR was issued prior to the effective date of the mapping, it is still valid and represents more current and more detailed information than the effective mapping. Completed floodplain infrastructure changes and investments in the area were covered under this CLOMR and have created a dynamic situation, where the effective mapping is no longer representative of conditions surrounding the proposed project site. To navigate this issue and allow the proposed project to move forward, the Town of Breckenridge and proposed project developer Gorman & Co. met with FEMA in November 2020 to determine the best way to proceed. Based on these discussions, it was determined that the 2016 CLOMR represented the best available data; however, due to the time that has elapsed since the CLOMR was approved, resurvey of the cross sections from the CLOMR was recommended to reflect any changes since the past CLOMR survey was completed. A survey of the same cross sections used in the CLOMR model was conducted in November 2020, and Gorman & Co. updated the CLOMR model to reflect the updated cross sections. Grading will occur during construction of the proposed project, slightly altering existing elevations documented in the survey. As the end of construction approaches, final elevations will be determined. At that time, Gorman & Co. will pursue a project-specific LOMR to remove the floodplain designation from the building footprints prior to Certificate of Occupancy. However, some parts of the property will retain a floodplain designation, though it will be outdoor, unoccupied space. All site planning, building design, and construction implementation will comply with State of Colorado and Town of Breckenridge floodplain protection procedures.

The Town of Breckenridge has re-evaluated alternatives to building in the floodplain and has determined that it has no practicable alternative. In mountain environments with limited buildable areas due to topography, land use restrictions, and availability to acquire, there are limited options that can accommodate significant multi-family housing development. The proposed project site represents one of these few options despite the floodplain designation. The Town of Breckenridge acquired the property in 2000. It then facilitated an extensive community planning effort for 128-acres including the proposed project site that resulted in an approved master plan in 2018. The proposed 4-acre project site was chosen for multi-family housing development in the adopted master plan. Environmental files that document compliance with steps 3 through 6 of Executive Order 11988, 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.

This activity will have no significant impact on the environment for the following reasons. First, extensive floodplain infrastructure improvements have been by the Town of Breckenridge over a span of many years to bodies of water surrounding and adjacent to the proposed project site. Although these improvements are not currently reflected in FEMA's effective mapping, they have made a difference in limiting potential floodplain damage at the proposed project site and surrounding areas. Second, in order to receive site plan approval and ultimately attain a building permit from the Town of Breckenridge to begin construction, Gorman & Co. must demonstrate adequate protection measures to ensure safe, efficient stormwater drainage away from the property during construction and post-occupancy. Third, based on actual current conditions in the field and upon completion of construction including grading changes, the buildings themselves will have their floodplain designation removed prior to residency. A LOMR request will be made to FEMA and must be approved by FEMA prior to residency. This protocol ensures there is no flood danger to occupied homes, though some of the property will maintain its floodplain designation. It is not uncommon for outdoor, unoccupied areas to maintain a floodplain designation in perpetuity.

There are three primary purposes for this notice. First, people who may be affected by activities in floodplains 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 about floodplains can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks 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 floodplains, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk.

Written comments must be received by the Town of Breckenridge at the following address on or before Friday, January 29, 2020: Town of Breckenridge, 150 Ski Hill Road, Breckenridge, CO 80424, Attention: Nichole Rex. Comments may also be submitted via email to Email Me. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, details concerning the proposed project are available for examination by request to the Town of Breckenridge Clerk's Office, (970) 547 – 3127 or Email Me.

Date: January 22, 2021

Published in the Summit County Journal on January 22, 2021. 0000653906