Critical Areas Assessments
The first step for most projects is determining what site constraints exist that would restrict development, regardless of the size of the project. Determining the extent of critical areas on or near a Site is one of the baseline components upon which any site planning should be based. Critical areas include wetlands and streams, as well as steep slopes and other geological features. My skillset allows me to help you identify wetlands, streams, wildlife habitat, potential for the occurrence of listed species, as well as address steep slopes as they relate to wildlife habitat and buffer potential. However, I am unable to identify steep slopes, nor can I prepare a geotechnical analysis. I can, however, connect you to the people who are qualified to prepare those types of documents.
I can quickly identify constraints to your Site and outline scenarios to help with those important Go or No-Go decisions on whether to pursue a site or a specific project or expansion to any existing development.
- Wetland Delineation
- Stream Delineation (Identify the ordinary high water mark)
- Identify wildlife habitat
- Identify the potential for listed species (local, state, or federal)
- Wetland Ratings and Stream typings
Constraints Analysis & Site Planning
Once the constraints of a site have been identified, the next step is to evaluate what affect those constraints will have to a proposed development. An evaluation of the constraints of a site and how to address or modify those constraints is the core of site planning. This step can be a simple and quick analysis for rapid decision making or a more in-depth analysis to find creative solutions for heavily constrained sites. Part of this analysis is an evaluation of potential critical area impacts and appropriate mitigation strategies to compensate for any proposed impacts to critical areas.
- Site Planning
- Impact Assessment
- Mitigation Assessment
- Conceptual Mitigation Design
- Site Usability Studies
Once a conceptual site plan has been established, the next step is to submit applications to the appropriate agencies to remove all land use entitlements to allow the project to be constructed. This process can be challenging, but careful planning prior to submitting any applications can reduce the uncertainties of environmental permitting. Pre-application meetings with the applicable Agencies can help smooth this permitting process, as can ensuring all Team members openly communicate and have clear direction. As with any project – a collaborative approach is best that uses team members for their strengths.
- Existing Conditions Reports (also known as Wetland Reports, Wetland Studies, Stream Report, etc.)
- Critical Areas Reports
- Mitigation Plans, Mitigation Reports
- Wetland and Stream Mitigation Drawings
- Alternatives Analysis Reports
- Fisheries, Wildlife, and Special Studies (Biological Evaluations, Biological Assessments, etc.)
Sometimes things don’t go as planned and mistakes are made. Violations are already difficult. There is no reason to make them more complicated than necessary.