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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-2004-00888, NOI and Scoping Meeting for EIS proposed Amoruso Ranch Project

Posted: 5/6/2016

Expiration date: 7/6/2016


Comments Period: May 6, 2016 – July 6, 2016 

SUBJECT: Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Notice of Public Scoping Meeting for the proposed Amoruso Ranch Project. This notice is to inform interested parties of the opening of scoping and to solicit comments on the proposed project. 

On May 6, 2016, a NOI was published in the Federal Register (Vol. 81, No. 88, page 27421), which may be found at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-05-06/pdf/2016-10644.pdf.  

APPLICANT: Brookfield Sunset, LLC, 2271 Lava Ridge Court, Suite 220, Roseville, California 95661-3065 

AGENT: David Krolick, ECORP Consulting, 2525 Warren Drive, Rocklin, California 95677, (916) 782-9100, email: DKrolick@ecorpconsulting.com  

LOCATION: The 674-acre site is located in unincorporated western Placer County, south of West Sunset Boulevard, approximately 1.5 miles west of Fiddyment Road, east of Pettigrew Road, and north of Pleasant Grove Creek, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian, Pleasant Grove California 7.5-minute USGS quadrangle. The approximate center of the 674-acre site is Latitude 38.816667, Longitude -121.384722.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Brookfield Sunset, LLC, (applicant) is proposing to develop a large-scale, mixed-use, mixed density, master planned community. The proposed project consists of approximately 347 acres designated for residential use that would contain 2,827 dwelling units (in a mix of low, medium and high density), 51 acres for community commercial use, 12 acres for public/quasi-public space containing a fire station and school, 161 acres of parks and natural avoided areas of open space reserve and/or preserve, and 82 acres of associated infrastructure containing roads and other public transportation corridors. Approximately 17 acres of the adjacent Al Johnson Wildlife Area property would be used to construct a 325-foot long drainage ditch. No other off-site improvements are included in the proposed project. A segment of the future Placer Parkway would be constructed by others on 49 acres of the site and is not part of this permit application. The proposed project would involve the discharge of fill material into approximately 18.64 acres of waters of the United States (WOUS), including vernal pools, seasonal wetlands, and an open water pond. The proposed project may also result in indirect impacts to WOUS, including wetlands. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Background Information: On March 17, 2014, the applicant submitted a Department of the Army (DA) permit application for the proposed discharge of fill material into WOUS associated with the construction of the Amoruso Ranch project. A revised DA permit application was submitted by the applicant on October 30, 2014. On December 22, 2014, the Corps determined that the proposed discharge of fill material into WOUS may result in significant impacts to the environment, and that the preparation of an EIS is necessary. 

Scoping Meeting: The Corps will conduct a public scoping meeting on Thursday, May 26, 2016, from 5:00p.m. to 6:00 p.m., in Rooms 1 & 2 of the Martha Riley Community Library, 1501 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Roseville, CA, 95747.

Environmental Setting. A wetland delineation of the project site, which has been verified by the Corps, indicates there are approximately 38.86 acres of wetlands and other WOUS present within the project study area, including 9.81 acres of vernal pools, 19.74 acres of seasonal wetland swales, 4.83 acres of seasonal wetlands, 1.82 acres of marsh, 1.92 acres of intermittent stream (University Creek), 0.364 acre of pond, and less than 0.01 acre of ephemeral drainage. The site is characterized by relatively flat to gently rolling terrain with elevations of approximately 70 to 100 feet above mean sea level. The aquatic habitats are interspersed within an annual grassland plant community, which is comprised primarily of non-native naturalized Mediterranean grasses. University Creek, an intermittent drainage and tributary of Pleasant Grove Creek, flows from east to west through the southern portion of the site. The site has historically been used for cattle grazing and agriculture.

Alternatives. The EIS will include alternatives to the Proposed Action that will meet National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for a reasonable range of alternatives, and will also meet the requirements of the CWA Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines. The alternatives to be evaluated within the EIS have not yet been developed, but will, at a minimum, include the No Action Alternative, the Proposed Project Alternative, and On-site and Off-site Alternatives.

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 required for this project. The applicant has not indicated they have applied for certification.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Potentially eligible cultural resources may be affected by the proposed project. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The proposed activity will directly impact 13.79 acres of aquatic features considered to be habitat for the vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi), which is Federally-listed as threatened. The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project will 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 Corps’ public involvement program includes several opportunities to provide verbal and written comments on the proposed project through the NEPA process. Affected Federal, state, and local agencies, Native American tribes, and other interested organizations and parties are invited to participate. Potentially significant issues to be analyzed in depth in the EIS include loss of waters of the United States (including wetlands), and impacts related to water supply, water quality, utilities and public services, traffic and navigation, fish, vegetation and wetlands, wildlife, land use and agriculture, recreation, visual resources, air quality, climate change, and socioeconomics. The project’s impact on the public interest will include application of the CWA Section 404(b)(1) Guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR Part 230). Comments will also be used to determine the effect of the proposed activity on the public interest.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments regarding the permit application on or before July 6, 2016. Scoping comments should be submitted to the address below within the next 60 days, but may be submitted at any time prior to publication of the Draft EIS.

Leah M. Fisher, Sr. Regulatory Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Regulatory Division
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 95814-2922
Email: Leah.M.Fisher@usace.army.mil 

The Corps is particularly interested in receiving comments related to alternatives to the proposed project, the proposal's probable impacts on the affected aquatic environment, and the secondary and cumulative effects. Please note that all comment letters received are subject to release to the public through the Freedom of Information Act and will be addressed within the Draft EIS. If you have questions or need additional information please contact the applicant’s agent or the Corps' regulatory project manager Leah Fisher at (916) 557-6639, or Leah.M.Fisher@usace.army.mil.