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Intensive Cultural Resources Survey of the Proposed 12.5-Acre Colonial Crossing Apartments Tract, Belton, Bell County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) was selected by the Mason Joseph Company, Inc. (MJC) on behalf of a private real estate developer to conduct an intensive cultural resources inventory and assessment for the proposed development of the Colonial Crossing apartment complex on a 5.1-hectare (ha) (12.5-acre [ac]) tract in Belton, Bell County, Texas. The proposed tract is located southeast of the intersection of State Highway (SH) 121 Loop and Farmto-Market Road (FM) 93 (also known as Nolan Valley Road). The Area of Potential Effect (APE) consists of the entire 5.1-ha (12.5-ac) parcel within which proposed construction would occur.
The proposed undertaking is being sponsored by a private real estate developer on privately owned land utilizing funding provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); as such, the project falls under the jurisdiction of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended. As the project represents a publicly sponsored undertaking with the potential to impact potentially significant cultural resources, the project sponsor is required to provide for a cultural resources inventory of the APE.
On February 16, 2015, Horizon archeologist Briana Smith, under the overall direction of Jeffrey D. Owens, Principal Investigator, performed an intensive cultural resources survey of the APE to locate any cultural resources that potentially would be impacted by the proposed undertaking. The cultural resources investigation consisted of an archival review, an intensive pedestrian survey of the APE, and the production of a report suitable for review by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) in accordance with the Texas Historical Commission’s (THC) Rules of Practice and Procedure, Chapter 26, Section 27, and the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) Guidelines for Cultural Resources Management Reports.
Horizon’s archeologist traversed the APE and thoroughly inspected the modern ground surface for aboriginal and historic-age cultural resources. The Texas State Minimum Archeological Survey Standards (TSMASS) require a minimum of 1 subsurface probe per 2 acres for project areas between 11 and 100 ac in size; as such, a total of 6 subsurface probes would be required within the 5.1-ha (12.5-ac) APE. Horizon exceeded the TSMASS by excavating a total of 13 shovel tests. The pedestrian survey and shovel testing revealed that sediments in the APE consist of shallow, surficial remnants of dark brown gravelly clay residuum ranging from 5.0 to 30.0 centimeters (2.0 to 11.8 inches) in depth, overlying decomposing limestone bedrock gravels.
No cultural resources, historic or prehistoric, were observed within the 5.1-ha (12.5-ac) APE during the survey.
Based on the results of the survey-level investigations of the APE documented in this report, no potentially significant cultural resources would be affected by the proposed undertaking. In accordance with 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 800.4, Horizon has made a reasonable and good-faith effort to identify historic properties within the APE. No cultural resources were identified that meet the criteria for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) according to 36 CFR 60.4, and no further archeological work is recommended in connection with the proposed undertaking. However, it should be noted that human burials are protected under the Texas Health and Safety Code. In the event that any human remains or burial objects are inadvertently discovered at any point during construction, use, or ongoing maintenance in the APE, even in previously surveyed areas, all work should cease immediately at the location of the inadvertent discovery until a qualified archeologist can assess the find, and the THC should be notified of the discovery.
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