Abbieville Install Temporary Housing (YC 2020)
To meet the visitor services requirement of the Yosemite Conservancy agreement with Yosemite National Park as well as the pandemic response recommendations, it is necessary to provide employees the opportunity to live seasonally in personal RVs. Self-contained separate housing units are recommended over shared housing to limit the potential spread of illness. Finally, the Abbieville area would be a consolidated area for YC use with the recent purchase of the property at this site.
Yosemite Conservancy (YC) is seeking approval from Yosemite National Park (NPS) for the construction of one RV hook up site in the proximity of 5028 Abbieville Road, a residence owned by YC as of April 15, 2020. The construction of this RV sites will help address the YC seasonal staff housing needs. The request includes the construction of one RV site with the availability to connect to existing water, sewer, and electricity.
150' buffer from the Merced River - This exception to the MRP has been approved as the best solution to effectively manage for multiple resource objectives. YC will take all measures necessary to protect the river during construction activities and will make sure that during occupancy of the site, the river is not impacted. The variance on the 150' Merced River Plan restoration area is justified by this being a temporary, interim, and "at will" use and not permanent affixed residential improvements. Additionally, YC will be required to request re-approval annually.
YC will hire a private contractor to make connection to existing utilities near to the site. No construction machinery will be required for Utility connection. Minimum clearing and grubbing are anticipated for the site as it is fairly flat.
Materials: shovels, 1" copper pipe and fixtures, gravel rock and wood chips.
Utility Connections: Power connection and sewer do not need any ground disturbances. There is already a power meter next to the site, so power connection will be coordinated with PG&E. For sewer, there is a cleanout next to the site. The RV can install the sewer hose directly into this sewer port. For the water connection, contractor will locate the water line and meter with a metal detector. After the water line is located, contractor will access it with a shovel as this line is known to be very shallow. Finally, contractor will install the appropriate plumbing fixtures to have a metered faucet connection. A full water meter would be required at this site, not just a simple connection. PG&E has stated that this is a secondary powerline and there are no concerns regarding the location of the RV. PGE does not have a right of way in the conventional sense of a swath of land that they unilaterally control. PGE operates under permits in all of Yosemite for the access, operations and maintenance of the transmission and distribution lines. Safety issues we would defer to, but they have said no problem. Again, the temporary RV is a much different scenario than regular housing.
Dimensions of Ground Disturbance: As mentioned above, minimum clearing and grubbing is anticipated as the proposed site is fairly flat. There is no additional ground disturbance anticipated. Dimensions are noted in the attached layout.
Historic Standards and Design Guidelines: Not Applicable.
Yosemite Natural Resources staff performed a survey and confirmed that there are no vegetation concerns that require mitigation or would hinder project implementation in any of the proposed areas.
We have contacted PG&E and confirmed the lines above the site are secondary overhead power lines and pose no restrictions.
YC will be issued a Special Use Permit for the temporary use of the RV space. Mariposa County Zoning Ordinances have no jurisdiction or land regulation role in El Portal whatsoever. It is exclusively federally administered land under the sole jurisdiction of DOI (the Superintendent). Mariposa County land use regulations stops at the Foresta Bridge at the admin facility. We, through an expired MOU with Mariposa County, send the EP residential owners to Mariposa County for their home projects code plan check and building permits. They can only go to the County for BP application after the park approves their proposal. This does not include any land use zoning regulation approval. We do not send any park projects to the County. The permit compliance and terms of the permit will be re-evaluated each year. The park and YC will agree that it is a year to year needs assessment and SUP renewal. It is a temporary use. The SUP is the legal binding mechanism and ultimately is the Superintendent's sole authority and decision, as are all SUP's. I would not additionally assign this under the YC agreement due to its temporary use and year to year status. A SUP is all that's needed.
Construction Time Frame: Duration of construction estimated at less than one week.
Staging Areas: All equipment and materials will be staged on Abbie Rd properly as well as the driveway for the 5028 Abbie Road Residence.
Mitigations - The proposed RV site lies within the Merced River corridor fewer than 150 feet from the river. As mentioned above YC will take all measures necessary to protect the river and will make sure that during the usage of the site there are no impacts to the river. Additionally, YC will request reevaluation and reapproval annually for the use of this site. Conservancy employees will all be informed about food and trash storage regulations. Currently there is an existing trail to access the River from Abbie Road. The project manager will work with Caitlin Lee-Roney during the planning phase to design the project to avoid human-wildlife issues.