Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain
To: All interested Federal, State, Local agencies, Groups and Individuals
This is to give notice that the Kauai County Housing Agency (KCHA) 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 Determination on Floodplain Management, to determine the potential affect that its activity in the floodplain will have on the human environment for Koa`e Workforce Housing Development under the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), Project Based Voucher program (PBV), and National Housing Trust Fund (HTF). The proposed project is located at TMK: (4)2-6-004:019, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii. Koa`e is a development to construct a 134-unit affordable rental project in Koloa, Kauai, providing 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units in twenty-three buildings for households with incomes at or below 60% of Kauai’s Median Income. The total project site is 11.2 acres in size, with .6 acres of the site within the AE Flood Zone. A portion of three of the residential building structures, totaling approximately .1 acres, will be built within the AE Flood Zone. The total footprint of the three buildings is .2 acres.
KCHA has considered the following alternatives and mitigation measures to be taken to minimize adverse impacts and to restore and preserve natural and beneficial values:
i. Remove three buildings from the 100-year floodplain– The removal of three buildings from the floodplain would result in a reduction in density that would not be financially sustainable for long-term affordability of units.
ii. Remove three buildings from the 100-year floodplain and add an additional floor to remaining buildings. This option would allow for the project density to remain consistent and thus make a financially solvent project. This alternative was primarily rejected due to structure heights that would exceed the County building height standards.
iii. Post and pier support of three buildings within the 100-year floodplain. This alternative would result in the habitable spaces and building support to remain in the floodplain with a reduced footprint. This option was rejected due to the additional cost and time associated with post and pier design resulting in a project that would not be able to sustain long-term affordability.
iv. Reconfigure building layout. This option considered the rearrangement of green space, buildings, and associated infrastructure to remove buildings from the floodplain. This option was rejected primarily due to life/safety issues.
v. No Modification of floodplain/no approval for action. This option considered not proceeding with the development of this site. This alternative offers no relief from rental prices, an increased strain on homelessness on Kauai, and would not provide long-term, affordable rental housing to help alleviate Kauai’s housing crisis.
vi. Site three buildings within the 100-year floodplain. This action results in .1 acre of three buildings being positioned within the 100-year floodplain. Mitigation includes: elevating buildings a minimum of 2.7 feet above the Base Flood Elevation; utilizing pervious hardscape features and underground storm water detention chambers to mitigate the potential loss of water for aquifer recharge; and utilizing native plants and grasses for landscaping.
KCHA has reevaluated the alternatives to building in the floodplain and has determined that it has no practicable alternative. 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:
Planned structures comply with floodplain management requirements per NFIP Kauai Floodplain Manager;
Structures will be built a minimum of 2.7′ above Base Flood Elevation;
Native plants and grasses will be used in landscaping;
Installation of pervious surfaces and on-site storm water detention chambers for recharge of underground aquifer. Drainage study shows a reduction of storm water discharge from the site at the conclusion of mitigating measures; and
The State Preservation Division of the Department of Natural Resources (SHPD) concurrence that no historic properties are affected.
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 education 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 Kauai County Housing Agency at the following address on or before December 23, 2017: Kauai County Housing Agency, 4444 Rice Street, Suite 330, Lihue, Hawaii 96766, Attn: Sharon Graham, HOME/HTF Program Coordinator, during the hours of 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Comments may also be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Environmental files for steps 3 through 6 can be accessed in person at the KCHA office or online at www.kauai.gov/housing.