Texas Historical Commission
Horizon Environmental Services, Inc. (Horizon) was selected by Mason Joseph Company, Inc. (Mason Joseph) to conduct a cultural resources survey and assessment for a proposed apartment complex development located on an approximately 4.6-hectare (11.4-acre) tract in San Angelo, Tom Green County, Texas. The proposed apartment complex would be located on undeveloped land in western San Angelo just northwest of the intersection of Northwest Drive and Green Hill Road. For the purposes of the cultural resources survey, the project area was assumed to consist of the entire 4.6-hectare (11.4-acre) tract.
The proposed undertaking would be sponsored by Mason Joseph, a private real estate developer, on privately owned land. However, the project would utilize funding provided by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As HUD is a federal agency, the project would fall 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 was required to perform a cultural resources inventory and assessment of the project area. The purpose of the survey was to determine if any archeological sites are located within the boundaries of the project area and, if any exist, to determine if the project has the potential to have any adverse impacts on sites listed on or considered eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
On July 14, 2020, Horizon archeologist Jesse O. Dalton, under the overall direction of Jeffrey D. Owens, Principal Investigator, performed an intensive cultural resources survey of the 4.6-hectare (11.4-acre) project area. Horizon’s archeologist traversed the survey area on foot and thoroughly inspected the modern ground surface for aboriginal and historic-age cultural resources. The project area is situated in an open field on a gently sloping upland landform just northeast of Red Arroyo, a tributary of the South Concho River. Vegetation at the time of the survey consisted of short tobosa, buffalo, and mesquite grasses as well as sparse patches of dry forbs. The modern ground surface was covered in medium-sized gravels and rocks. Visibility of the modern ground surface was generally excellent (80 to 100%).
Examination of historical imagery dating from 1928 to the present indicates that the project area has remained undeveloped throughout its history. Around 2004, the project area as well as a large tract of land extending to the north and west was devegetated and possibly graded. In 2014, Green Hill Road, the road that bounds the project area on the southern side, and a multifamily apartment complex, the Vistas at Red Creek, were constructed south of the project area. Portions of the project area adjacent to Green Hill Road appear to have been used as equipment stating areas during construction of the adjacent subdivision. Large portions of the southern half of the project area are extensively disturbed, including a large drainage channel and an associated artificial berm that follows the alignment of Green Hill Road for approximately 0.2 kilometer (0.1 mile) and a slightly raised rectangular pad that measures approximately 60.0 meters (196.9feet) long by 25.0 meters (82.0 feet) wide. This rectangular pad was likely a leveled temporary staging area for the equipment and associated materials used in the construction of the road and/or residential subdivision to the south. These disturbed areas are present on historical aerial photographs from 2014 through the present and were observed during the current cultural resources survey. Near the eastern border of the rectangular pad is a 2.0-by2.0-meter (6.6-feet-by-6.6-foot) asphalt surface. Several push piles containing modern trash and large limestone rocks are also present within the disturbed rectangular pad area.
In addition to pedestrian walkover, the Texas State Minimum Archeological Survey Standards (TSMASS) require a minimum of two shovel tests per 0.4-hectare (1.0-acre) for projects areas less than 10.1-hectares (25.0-acres) in size. As such, a minimum of 23 shovel tests would be required within the 4.6-hectare (11.4-acre) project area. Horizon excavated a total of 23 shovel tests within the project area, thereby meeting the TSMASS for a project area of this size. Shovel testing revealed that sediments in the project area consist of a typical A-B sequence of dry reddish-brown loam or clay loam overlying weak, blocky dark reddish-brown or pinkishbrown clay with common calcium carbonate (CaCO3) inclusions. The B-horizon subsoil (Bss1, Bw, Btk1) or limestone bedrock were observed underlying the A horizon at average depths of 15.0 to 40.0 centimeters (5.9 to 15.7 inches) below surface. Horizon is confident that shovel testing were capable of penetrating Holocene-era sediments with the potential to contain subsurface archeological deposits.
No cultural resources of historic or prehistoric age were observed on the modern ground surface or within any of the shovel tests excavated during the survey, and no standing structures of historic age are present within the project area or on adjacent parcels.
Based on the results of the survey-level investigations documented in this report, no significant cultural resources would be affected by the proposed undertaking. In accordance with 36 CFR 800.4, Horizon has made a reasonable and good faith effort to identify historic properties within the project area. No cultural resources were identified that meet the criteria for listing on the NRHP according to 36 CFR 60.4. Horizon recommends a finding of “no historic properties affected,” and no further work is recommended in connection with the proposed undertaking. However, in the event that any human remains or burial objects are inadvertently discovered at any point during construction, use, or ongoing maintenance in the project area, even in previously surveyed areas, all work should cease immediately and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) should be notified of the discovery.
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