FM 1488 Relief Route Public Meeting Summary Report .FM 1488 from existing FM 1488 West of Magnolia

  • View
    212

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

Text of FM 1488 Relief Route Public Meeting Summary Report .FM 1488 from existing FM 1488 West of Magnolia

  • The environmental review, consultation, and other actions required by applicable Federal environmental laws for this project are being, or have been, carried-out by TxDOT pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 327 and a Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2014, and executed by FHWA and TxDOT.

    FM 1488 Relief Route Public Meeting Summary Report CSJ: 0523-09-018, 0523-08-013

    FM 1488 from existing FM 1488 West of Magnolia

    to Proposed SH 249

    Public Meeting September 22, 2015Prepared by: Alexis Potaman, RPS Klotz Associates, Inc.

    Date: December 2015

  • FM 1488 Relief Route Public Meeting Summary, CSJs: 0523-09-018, 0523-08-013

    i

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PUBLIC MEETING SUMMARY1-2 PUBLIC COMMENTS AND RESPONSES...3-10

    APPENDICES

    Appendix A NOTICES OF PUBLIC MEETING

    Appendix B AFFIDAVITS OF PUBLICATION

    Appendix C ELECTED OFFICIALS LETTER, MAP AND LIST

    Appendix D ADJACENT PROPERTY OWNERS MAILING LIST

    Appendix E ADDITIONAL PUBLIC OUTREACH

    Appendix F PUBLIC MEETING PROGRAM

    Appendix G SIGN-IN SHEETS

    Appendix H PHOTOGRAPHS

    Appendix I EXHIBIT BOARDS

    Appendix J WRITTEN COMMENTS

  • 1

    FM 1488 Relief Route Public Meeting Summary, CSJs: 0523-09-018, 0523-08-013

    Public Meeting Summary

    The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Houston District, conducted a public

    meeting concerning the proposed FM 1488 Relief Route on new location around the north

    side of Magnolia from existing FM 1488 west of the City of Magnolia to proposed SH 249 east

    of Magnolia on September 22, 2015, at Magnolia West High School located at 42202 FM

    1774 in Magnolia, Texas. The purpose of the meeting was to gather public input on the FM

    1488 Relief Route Project.

    The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Houston District proposes to construct a

    Relief Route for FM 1488 around the north side of Magnolia from existing FM 1488 west of

    Magnolia to proposed SH 249 in Montgomery County, Texas. The proposed roadway project

    would consist of four lanes, two in each direction on new location and have grade separated

    overpasses at FM 1774 and Union Pacific Railroad and at the proposed SH 249 extension.

    Approximately 172 acres of additional right-of-way (ROW) would be required. The proposed

    project would potentially result in residential displacements. The proposed project length is

    approximately 5 miles. The purpose of the proposed project is to decrease traffic congestion,

    increase mobility, and improve operational efficiency and safety along FM 1488 within the

    City of Magnolia. Construction timeline to be determined as funding becomes available.

    The Notice of Public Meeting was published on August 22, 2015, and September 12, 2015,

    in the Houston Chronicle, and August 23, 2015, and September 13, 2015 in the La Voz

    Spanish newspaper. The notices and the affidavits of publication are attached (see

    Appendices A and B). Notices were mailed to elected officials in the project area (see

    Appendix C) and adjacent property owners (see Appendix D). Additional public outreach was

    conducted and consisted of mailing public meeting invitation flyers to city and county offices,

    local fire departments and law enforcement offices, schools and libraries (see Appendix E).

    Previous public meetings had been held in January 2004, May 2004, and March 2005.

    These public meetings presented different alternatives and resulted in the selection of a

    preferred alternative. This public meeting was held to determine if the selected preferred

    alternative was still viable.

    The public meeting was held, from approximately 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in an open house

    format. A registration desk was located at the entrance of Magnolia West High School where

    attendees were invited to sign-in. Each person was provided with a pre-addressed comment

    form to share their thoughts regarding the proposed project and a program, which contained

    a brief description and purpose of the proposed project. The program is included in Appendix

    F. Handouts provided at the public meeting were available in English and Spanish. Three

    elected officials (or their representatives), 107 members of the public, and one member of

    the media signed in at the meeting. The program is included in Appendix F and sign-in sheets

    are included in Appendix G.

  • 2

    FM 1488 Relief Route Public Meeting Summary, CSJs: 0523-09-018, 0523-08-013

    Citizens were given an opportunity to view the various exhibits that were on display (see

    photographs in Appendix H and Exhibit Boards in Appendix I). Exhibits included a welcome

    board, project description, the need and purpose, project location map, proposed typical

    sections, project history, project timeline, a build alternatives evaluation matrix, how to

    provide comments, and the schematic layout for the project. A table was also provided which

    contained a laptop computer and a 22 inch computer screen which displayed a digital project

    aerial allowing attendees to see the proposed ROW relative to their specific property. A project

    staff member was stationed at this digital project aerial viewing table for the entire duration of

    the public meeting. Additionally, project management staff was available to provide

    information and answer questions from citizens regarding the proposed project.

    Public Comments and Responses The public was encouraged to ask questions and make comments. All verbal questions and

    comments were immediately responded to at the meeting. 36 public meeting comment forms

    were submitted at the public meeting. Three e-mails were submitted before the public

    meeting and an additional four comments were submitted, by mail or e-mail, after the public

    meeting.

    The comment form asked the question, Do you support the proposed project? Meeting

    attendees had the opportunity to answer yes, no or undecided. Of the 43 forms, letters

    and emails that were received, 46.5% of the respondents marked that they were not in

    support of the project. Detailed question results can be seen below:

    The comment forms received have been numbered and are attached along with the letters

    and e-mails that were received (see Appendix J). Due to the overlap and repetition in many

    comments, similar comments responses were consolidated to reduce duplication. The

    comments that appear below are often not the precise words found in the written comment

    form. This has been done to reduce duplication of similar comments that elicited a common

    response and in no way is intended to obscure the substance of a comment. Comments are

    below:

    Are you in Support of this Project?

    Yes 8 18.6%

    No 20 46.5%

    Undecided 10 23.3%

    No Response 5 11.6%

    Total 43 100%

  • 3

    FM 1488 Relief Route Public Meeting Summary, CSJs: 0523-09-018, 0523-08-013

    1. I think this is a good concept. The west end should connect to Nichols Sawmill

    Road, the logical pathway to US 290 corridor (see Comment Form 1).

    Response: The current proposed project extends to existing FM 1488 west of Magnolia. It is not within the proposed project scope or purpose to extend further south beyond existing FM 1488

    2. Regarding the alignment on the western end from FM 1486 to existing FM 1488,

    shifting the alignment further west to the west side of Mink Branch will prevent

    damage to a Horse Boarding and Riding Lesson property to the south and

    continuing south of Mink Branch to FM 1488 (see Comment Form 37).

    Response: Additional alternatives were considered along with the preferred alternative. The current proposed Relief Route alignment was chosen as the

    preferred alternative because it resulted in the fewest overall displacements and

    impacts to 100 year floodplains, creeks and wetlands. Moving the preferred

    alternative to the west side of Mink Branch would substantially increase the number

    of residential displacements. All reasonable efforts were made to minimize

    residential, commercial, and environmental impacts.

    3. My property fronts on Old Hempstead Rd. The alignment needs to be moved to the

    west past Gilliam Lake against the far western fence line, so it would not cut the

    property in half (see Comment Forms 5 and 43).

    Response: As proposed, the current alignment was chosen because it resulted in the fewest impacts to 100 year floodplains, creeks and wetlands. We evaluated the

    request and developed an alternative route, however, due to the location of a

    floodplain west and south of the property, the alternative route could not follow the

    western edge of the property. The alternate route proceeded from the preferred

    alternative in a south-westerly direction toward the western edge of the property,

    passing just west of Gilliam Lake, and then it proceeded in a south-easterly

    direction to tie back to the original route.

    While the alternate route would provide more contiguous property with the owners

    land to the east, it would leave two triangular remnants in the northwest and

    southwest corners. After reviewing the impacts of the alternate route, while it may

    be preferable to this property owner, the shift toward the west would result in

    greater ROW needed from the properties to the north and south. The alternate route

    would take more land from the property to the south and clip the corner of an

    existing corral. The parcel