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Cultural Resources Survey of 98 Acres for the Proposed Taylor Morrison Development Project, Fort Bend County, Texas
Texas Historical Commission
In November 2017, Gray & Pape, Inc. of Houston, Texas, conducted an intensive pedestrian cultural resources survey and deep testing on property subsuming a total of approximately 40 hectares (98 acres) proposed for development in Fort Bend County, Texas. No Texas Antiquities Permit was required as all survey work was completed on privately-owned property. The United States Army Corps of Engineers-Galveston District has been identified as the Lead Agency for this project.
The goals of the survey were to establish whether previously unidentified buried archaeological resources were located within or immediately adjacent to the project’s Area of Potential Effects, which is defined as all 40 hectares (98 acres), and if so to provide management recommendations for such resources. The survey was undertaken in accordance with requirements set forth by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, specifically requirements set forth by 36 CFR 800. The procedures to be followed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill the requirements set forth in the National Historic Preservation Act, other applicable historic preservation laws, and Presidential directives as they relate to the regulatory program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers (33 CFR Parts 320-334) are articulated in the Regulatory Program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Part 325 - Processing of Department of the Army Permits, Appendix C - Procedures for the Protection of Historic Properties. All fieldwork and reporting activities were completed with reference to State laws and guidelines (the Antiquities Code of Texas). Survey and site identification followed Texas Antiquities Code standards.
Fieldwork took place between November 13 and November 22, and required 116-person hours to complete. Field investigations consisted of intensive pedestrian surface inspection, subsurface shovel testing, photographic documentation, mapping, and mechanical deep testing. A total of 59 shovel tests and six deep tests were excavated. Only one shovel test was positive for cultural materials. This test contained a porcelain insulator at a depth of 10 centimeters (4 inches) below surface. This isolated find was completely delineated with no additional materials found within a 20-meter (65-foot) radius. This isolate was located immediately adjacent to Snake Slough and could have washed into place during a flood event. Also, it was located near the intersection of two buried utilities and could have been deposited during their construction. This isolate is not recommended for further investigation and no state-issued trinomial was requested. No new buried significant cultural sites were encountered as a result of survey.
Two historical above-ground resources were identified, which include a circa 1950s vernacular residence and the remains of an oil drilling platform. Neither resource is associated with significant events or persons, and are not likely to provide important information about the history of the oil industry in Fort Bend County, nor do they represent distinctive architectural design characteristics. Therefore, neither resource appears to meet the minimum requirements for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and no further work is recommended regarding them. The historic-age resources are not recommended as eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
No negative impacts on archaeological sites or significant above-ground resources are anticipated as a result of project construction. Based on these findings, Gray & Pape, Inc. recommends that no further cultural resources work be required and that the project be cleared to proceed as currently planned.
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