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Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought. Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest. Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

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SPK-2006-00561, City of Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

Posted: 1/30/2017

Expiration date: 3/1/2017


200600561-Attachment_2_Alder_Ranch_404b1_12.22.2016_FINAL.pdfComments Period: January 30, 2017 – March 1, 2017

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Alder Ranch project, which would result in the discharge of fill material into approximately 4.10 acres of waters of the U.S., including wetlands, in or adjacent to Alder Creek. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.

AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.

APPLICANT: Oak Avenue Holdings, LLC., Attn: Mr. Bill Bunce, 3907 Park Drive #235, El Dorado Hills, California 95762, Phone: 916-939-6656

AGENT: ECORP Consulting, Inc., Attn: Ms. Debra Sykes, 2525 Warren Drive, Rocklin, California 95677

LOCATION: The approximately 640-acre project site is located north of White Rock Road, and east of Prairie City Road, Latitude 38.62426° North, Longitude 121.14064° West, in the City of Folsom, Sacramento County, California, and can be seen on the CA-BUFFALO CREEK USGS Topographic Quadrangle.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant proposes to construct a mixed-use development including residential and commercial uses, infrastructure, neighborhood parks, and open space areas. The proposed project would result in the discharge of dredged/fill material into 4.10 acres of waters of the U.S., consisting of 0.79 acre of vernal pools, 1.02 acres of seasonal wetlands, 1.92 acres of seasonal wetland swales, 0.001 acre of creek/channel, 0.18 acre of intermittent drainage, 0.16 acre of ditch, and 0.04 acre of pond. The placement of dredged/fill material into approximately 1.83 acres of waters of the U.S. on the Alder Ranch site were authorized under a DA permit for the Specific Plan Area (SPA) Backbone Infrastructure on June 6, 2014 (see Additional Information, Background below), and therefore these impacts are not included in this permit application. Additional placement of fill material into 0.34 acres of waters of the U.S. on the Alder Ranch site is proposed for the SPA Backbone Infrastructure and is also not included in this permit application. The applicant also proposes to avoid 5.15 acres of waters of the U.S. on the Alder Ranch site, which would be preserved in perpetuity. The attached drawings provide additional project details.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

    Background: The proposed Alder Ranch site is located within the SPA. Because development of the SPA would result in potentially significant effects to the environment, in accordance with NEPA, the Corps completed a joint, EIS/Environmental Impact Report (EIS/EIR) with the City of Folsom for the entire SPA (the City of Folsom completed the EIR for compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act). The EIR/EIS evaluated development of 9 separate projects associated with the SPA, including the on-site and off-site backbone infrastructure, as well as construction of mixed-use developments on 8 properties, consisting of: Folsom Heights (SPK-2008-00331), Prairie City Road Business Park (SPK-2006-00538), Folsom 560/Hillsborough (SPK-2006-00561), Folsom South (SPK-2006-00035), Folsom 138 (SPK-2008-00326), Carpenter Ranch (SPK-2006-00984), Sacramento Country Day School (SPK-2003-00732), and Javanifard and Zarghami (SPK-2007-01072). A Notice of Availability of the Draft EIR/EIS was published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2010 (Federal Register, Vol. 75, No. 127, 38500). The Folsom South site was later divided into 4 separate properties, consisting of Mangini (SPK-2013-00486), Arcadian Heights (SPK-2013-00485), Mangini Trust (SPK-2013-00487), and Russell Ranch (SPK-2013-00488). The 21.5 acre Mangini Trust site was subsequently divided, with 6.8 acres added to the Russell Ranch site, and the remaining 14.7 acres as the Carr Trust-Raintree site (SPK-2015-00291). The Folsom 560/Hillsborough (SPK-2006-00561) site and the Sacramento County Day School (SPK-2003-00732) have been combined and are being evaluated as the proposed Alder Ranch site in this permit application.

    The Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS/EIR, evaluating the impacts of the proposed SPA project, six on-site land-use and eleven off-site water supply/alignment alternatives, was published in the Federal Register on July 2, 2010 for a 60-day comment period. The Final EIS/EIR, which consisted of responses to comments and any corrections, revisions, and other clarifications and amplifications to the Draft EIS/EIR, was published on May 26, 2011, for a 30-day comment period. On August 12, 2011, the Corps issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the overall SPA. Per Finding a of the overall ROD, the Corps will make a final permit decision on each of the properties within the SPA following receipt of a complete DA permit application and issuance of a public notice.

    To date, the Corps has issued 5 permits for projects within the SPA. The Corps completed a ROD for the on-site and off-site backbone infrastructure on May 22, 2014, and issued a permit for this action on June 6, 2014 (SPK-2007-02159). The Corps completed a ROD for the Carpenter Ranch (SPK-2006-00984) and the Mangini (SPK-2013-00486) sites on July 25, 2014, and issued permits for these actions on August 6, 2014. On September 18, 2014, the Corps issued a Letter of Permission for the Folsom 138 project (SPK-2008-00326). On September 23, 2015, the Corps completed a ROD for the Russell ranch project (SPK-2013-00488), and issued a permit for this action on October 30, 2015. In addition, on April 10, 2015, the Corps determined that the 14.7-acre Carr Trust-Raintree site consists entirely of uplands and does not contain waters of the United States.

    Environmental Setting. There are approximately 11.40 acres of waters of the U.S. on the Alder Ranch site, consisting of 2.40 acres of vernal pools, 1.58 acres of seasonal wetlands, 3.43 acres of seasonal wetland swales, 0.03 acre of seep, 0.01 acre of creek/channel, 0.70 acre of intermittent drainage, 0.46 acre of ditch, and 2.79 acres of ponds. Of the 11.40 acres of waters of the U.S. on the Alder Ranch site, 2.17 are located in the SPA Backbone Infrastructure Area. The site is characterized primarily by annual grassland in the south, east, and west, with riparian oak woodlands on the northern portion of the site. Currently the Alder Ranch site is surrounded by mostly vacant land containing annual grasslands and riparian forests, although the Corps has issued permits for the construction of mixed use developments on the Carpenter Ranch site to the immediate north, and the Mangini Ranch site to the east.

    Alternatives. The applicant has provided the December 22, 2016, Information for Section 404(b)(1) On-Site Alternatives, Alder Ranch, prepared by ECORP Consulting, Inc., containing information concerning project alternatives, which is included as an attachment to this Public Notice. Additional information concerning project alternatives may be available from the applicant or their agent. Other alternatives may develop during the review process for this permit application. All reasonable project alternatives, in particular those which may be less damaging to the aquatic environment, will be considered.

    Mitigation. The Corps requires that applicants consider and use all reasonable and practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources. If the applicant is unable to avoid or minimize all impacts, the Corps may require compensatory mitigation. The applicant has proposed to preserve approximately 5.15 acres of waters of the U.S. on-site within 59 acres of preserve. The waters of the U.S. that would be avoided consist of 1.40 acres of vernal pools, 0.13 acre of seasonal wetland, 0.98 acre of seasonal wetland swale, 0.003 acre of seeps 0.005 acre of creek/channel, 0.34 acre of intermittent drainage, 0.23 acre of ditch, and 2.06 acres of pond. To compensate for the loss of waters of the U.S. associated with the proposed project, the applicant has proposed to purchase 0.79 vernal pool establishment credits from the Toad Hill Ranch Mitigation Bank, 3.79 floodplain mosaic establishment credits from the Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank, and 0.36 riparian wetland establishment credits from the Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is not required for this project. The applicant has/has not indicated they have applied for certification.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information potentially eligible cultural resources may be affected by the proposed project. On July 6, 2011, the Corps and State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) entered into a Programmatic Agreement (PA) for the SPA. The Corps will ensure compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act through implementation of the PA, including initiating consultation with the SHPO, as appropriate.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues a Biological Opinion (BO, USFWS Number 81420-2010-F-0620-1) for the impacts of the overall SPA on Federally-listed vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi), vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi), and Valley elderberry longhorn beetle (VELB, Desmocerus californicus dimorphus). As identified in the BO, the proposed project may affect vernal pool fairy shrimp and VELB.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project would not adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicant and our preliminary review.

EVALUATION FACTORS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the described activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the described activity, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the described activity will be considered, including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historic properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The activity's impact on the public interest will include application of the Section 404(b)(1) guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 230).

The Corps is soliciting comments from the public, Federal, State, and local agencies and officials, Indian tribes, and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Written comments, referencing Public Notice SPK-2006-00561 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before March 1, 2017.

Lisa Gibson, Regulatory Permit Specialist
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 95814-2922
Email: Lisa.M.Gibson2@usace.army.mil

The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment and the secondary and cumulative effects. Anyone may request, in writing, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests shall specifically state, with particularity, the reason(s) for holding a public hearing. If the Corps determines that the information received in response to this notice is inadequate for thorough evaluation, a public hearing may be warranted. If a public hearing is warranted, interested parties will be notified of the time, date, and location. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the applicant or the Corps' project manager Lisa Gibson, (916) 557-5288, Lisa.M.Gibson2@usace.army.mil.

Attachments: 4 drawings; Information for Section 404(b)(1) On-Site Alternatives, Alder Ranch, prepared by ECORP Consulting, Inc.