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Final Notice & Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain

Borough of Carlisle

Final Notice & Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain

To: All Interested Agencies, Groups, & Individuals

Date: April 10, 2020

This is to give notice that the Borough of Carlisle has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Orders 11988 and 11990, in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 C.F.R. §55.20, Subpart C, (Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management and Wetlands Protection) to determine the potential affect that its activities in the floodplain and wetland will have on the human environment using HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funds – specifically DCED HOME Contract #C000069523, FFY 2018-2022 – for the activity described below to be undertaken on a site located within the 100-year floodplain of the LeTort Spring Run Watershed drainage area of Carlisle Borough.

Acquisition and Demolition of Duplex - The overarching purpose of this HOME-funded project is to create two safe, decent, and sanitary affordable housing units for sale to credit-worthy, low-/moderate-income first-time homebuyers in an area located outside of the 100-year floodplain. The first phase of this project consists of acquisition of 157-159 East South Street, a duplex on 0.19 acres located in the Borough of Carlisle National Register-listed Historic District. The duplex has been vacant since 2013 and sustained significant façade damage in a 2015 fire. The condition of the dwellings are such that they cannot be rehabilitated without significant cost, which would vastly decrease their affordability to low-/moderate-income buyers. The second phase of this project is demolition of the existing duplex. After demolition of the duplex, the foundation will be excavated and removed, and the front half of the lot – located in the 100-year floodplain – will be graded for construction of an off-street parking area. The third phase of the project involves construction of a new duplex outside of the 100-year floodplain.

Explanation: The Borough of Carlisle seeks to create more affordable housing within its city limits, per its 2018 Comprehensive Plan finding that housing in the Borough is becoming less affordable. The proposed project supports two goals of Cumberland County’s Comprehensive Plan because it limits development in the 100-year floodplain and creates affordable housing opportunities. Since there are few to no vacant lots within Borough limits, the opportunity presented with this project is an excellent chance to create two safe, decent, and sanitary affordable homes for LMI, credit-worthy, first-time homebuyers. The Borough has determined that the current severely-blighted condition of this property renders rehabilitation of the existing duplex impossible. Rehabilitation of the existing duplex would make the two dwellings unaffordable for purchase by low- / moderate-income first-time homebuyers because flood insurance would need to be purchased for both dwellings. DCED and HUD discourage residential development in Special Flood Hazard Areas – i.e., the floodway and 100-year floodplain – because all individuals have the right to live in safe, decent, and sanitary housing. Demolishing the existing blighted duplex and creating an additional parkland area would amount to displacement of potential homeowners. Choosing the No Action alternative would continue the unsafe, blighted, and unsanitary conditions. Because the duplex can be constructed further back on the properties and outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area, the Borough selected this alternative as the best and most workable solution. The off-street parking area for four vehicles is proposed in order to alleviate daily on-street parking pressures experienced by neighborhood residents.

There are three primary purposes for this notice. 1) People who may be affected by activities in floodplains and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas. 2) An adequate public notice program can be an important public educational tool. The dissemination of information and request for public comment about floodplains can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks and impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. 3) As a matter of fairness, when the Federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in floodplains, it must inform those who may be placed at greater or continued risk.

Written comments must be received by the Borough of Carlisle at the following address on or before April 17, 2020: Chris Rafferty, Community Development Director, Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authorities (CCHRA), 114 North Hanover Street, Carlisle, PA 17013; or via email – crafferty@cchra.com. A full description of the project will be posted on CCHRA’s website – www.cchra.com and on the Borough of Carlisle’s website – www.carlislepa.org; or may be mailed or emailed by contacting Mr. Rafferty at crafferty@cchra.com from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Tim Scott, Mayor

Borough of Carlisle