Texas Historical Commission
Gram Vikas Partners, Inc. (Sponsor) is proposing the development of the approximate 400-acre Canyon Ranch Tract (Project) in northwest Comal County, Texas. The Project would occur approximately eight miles northeast of Spring Branch, Texas along Farm to Market Road (FM) 306. The Project will consist of a mix of both residential and commercial properties, associated roads, utilities and a wastewater treatment facility. As part of the development, an approximate six-acre wastewater treatment facility will be constructed in the west-central portion of the Project area, approximately 0.9-mi northwest of FM 306 and County Road (CR) 401 intersection.
Under the Memorandum of Agreement between the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), TCEQ has the responsibility to adhere to federal requirements, such as Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Under Section 106, federal agencies must consider the effects of their actions on historic properties, defined as resources that are included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). Federal requirements only apply to undertakings covered by the TCEQ NPDES permit. The TCEQ will be administering the permit on behalf of the EPA.
As the wastewater treatment facility associated with the Project will be federally permitted, and thus subject to a Section 106 Review in TCEQ permitted areas, the Sponsor has retained BGE, Inc. (BGE) to conduct cultural resource investigations to comply with Section 106 of the NHPA of 1966 as amended. The purpose of the investigation was to identify any cultural resources that would be impacted by the proposed project and determine if those resources would be eligible for inclusion in the NRHP or listing as State Antiquities Landmarks (SALs).
BGE conducted a cultural resources desktop review for the area of potential effects (APE) of the proposed Project, which totals approximately six acres, and all areas within a 1-km (0.62-mi) buffer of the APE, forming the study area (Study Area). In November of 2020, BGE conducted an intensive cultural resources survey of the APE. The survey was conducted according to the Council of Texas Archeologists’ (CTA) Archeological Survey Standards for Intensive Terrestrial Survey.
Upon conclusion of the survey, BGE produced this short report for review by the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). Reporting conforms to the Secretary of the Interior’s Guidelines for Archaeology and Historic Preservation, CTAs Guidelines for Cultural Resources Management Reports (Short Report Format), and the THC’s Rules of Practice and Procedure (Texas Administrative Code, Title 13, Chapter 26.
BGE performed the desktop review and field survey for the Project under the direction of James J. Hill (Josh), R.P.A., Principal Investigator. The survey was completed in approximately ten person-hours by Mr. Hill. A total of 12 shovel tests were excavated. No cultural resources were identified within the Study Area during the pre-field desktop review and the APE during field investigation. It is BGE’s opinion that no cultural resources eligible for inclusion in the NRHP or listing as SALs would be impacted by the Project and that the Project should proceed without further cultural resource investigation. However, in the unlikely event that any cultural resources are encountered during construction, BGE recommends immediately ceasing work in the area and notifying the THC.
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