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No swamp to drain

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

An official memo put rumors about McKalla Place to rest Tuesday. Acting Environmental Officer Chris Herrington informed City Council and the mayor that “A City of Austin biologist has visited the location and determined that no areas within the McKalla Place tract meet the definition of a protected wetland under City of Austin criteria.” Of course, the memo got into more details than that, noting, “The potential wetland feature included on the National Wetlands Inventory map on the McKalla Place tract was a short lived, isolated holding pond that held water in 1976 but was not present in subsequent or prior historic aerial photographs. In 2015, an additional excavated area for a permitted storm water control was created and has subsequently developed wetland vegetation due to lack of maintenance.” At any rate, the bottom line is that no “permit or authorization would likely be required for a construction project on the tract” for the potential wetland, and no endangered species habitat is located on the tract, so Austin can consider those two looming hurdles cleared.

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