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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-2005-01062 and SPK-2006-00331, Placer County, CA

Posted: 8/22/2016

Expiration date: 9/21/2016


Comments Period: August 22, 2016 – September 21, 2016 

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application within the Sierra Vista Specific Plan Area (SVSP) to construct the Baseline P&R and Baseline 80 Investors, LLC properties, which would result in in impacts to approximately 3.43 acres and 2.66 acres, respectively, of waters of the United States (WOUS), including wetlands, adjacent to Curry Creek. Both properties are part of the SVSP Area, on which the Corps has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activities 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:

Baseline P&R, LLC 
Attn: Ron Bertolina
7700 College Town Drive, Suite 101
Sacramento, California 95826

Baseline 80 Investors, LLC
Attn: Ron Bertolina
7700 College Town Drive, Suite 101
Sacramento, California 95826 


LOCATION: The proposed 375-acre and 80-acre sites are located within the SVSP area, bounded on the east by undeveloped farmland, the south by Baseline Road, and the north and west by undeveloped farmland and pasture, in Sections 34 & 35, Township 11 North, Range 5 East, MDB&M, in the City of Roseville, Placer County, California. 

PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS

Baseline P&R: Construction of this proposed project would result in the discharge of fill material into approximately 3.43 acres of WOUS, and the avoidance and preservation of 0.72 acres of WOUS, consisting of the following: 

 

Jurisdictional Wetlands/Waters

Impacts

Infrastructure

Impacts Non-

Infrastructure

On-Site Preservation

Perennial Marsh

0.01

0.85

0.01

Perennial Stream

0.31

 

0.62

Seasonal Wetland

0.10

0.26

0.02

Vernal Pool

0.51

0.16

 

Wetland Swale

0.20

1.03

0.07

 

 

 

 

Total: 4.15

1.13

2.30

0.72

 


The proposed project would result in the construction of a mixed-use development with approximately 187.7 acres of residential development, 18.3 acres of commercial development, 11.8 acres of park, 9.0 acres of landscape corridor/paseo, 38.3 acres of roads and 22.2 acres of open space. The proposed open space areas are comprised of 14.8 acres of Primary Open Space, 3.2 acres of Secondary Open Space and 4.2 acres of Non-Corps Open Space, which in the case of this permit lies within the infrastructure segments. Primary Open Space areas would be preserved and not impacted. Secondary Open Space would consist of trails and landscaping, whereas it is assumed the non-Corps Open Space would not be preserved all WOUS would be filled within this area. There are a total of 4.15 acres of WOUS delineated within the project area, comprised of 0.87 acre perennial marsh, 0.93 acre perennial stream, 0.38 acre seasonal wetland, 0.67 acres vernal pools, and 1.30 acres wetland swale.

Baseline 80 Investors: Construction of this proposed project would result in the discharge of fill material into approximately 2.66 acres of WOUS, and the avoidance and preservation of 1.10 acres of WOUS, consisting of the following:

 

Jurisdictional Wetlands/Waters

Impacts

Infrastructure

Impacts Non-

Infrastructure

Preservation

 

 

 

 

Perennial Stream

0.02

0.03

0.05

Pond

 

1.05

1.05

Seasonal Wetland

0.03

1.03

1.06

Vernal Pool

 

0.31

0.31

Wetland Swale

 

0.19

0.19

 

 

 

 

Total:

0.05

2.61

2.66

 

The proposed project would result in the construction of a mixed-use development with approximately 12.4 acres of residential development, 5.2 acres of commercial development, 39.9 acres of park, 1.6 acres of landscape corridor/paseo, 2.5 acres of roads and 17.0 acres of open space. The proposed open space areas are comprised of 13.5 acres of Primary Open Space, 3.4 acres of Secondary Open Space and 1.0 acre of Non-Corps Open Space, which in the case of this proposed permit lies within the infrastructure segments. Primary Open space is to be preserved and not impacted, Secondary Open Space is proposed for trails and landscaping, and it is assumed that non-Corps Open Space would not be preserved, and that all WOUS would be filled within this area. There are a total of 3.76 acres of WOUS within this project area, comprised of 0.87 acre perennial stream, 1.22 acres pond, 1.06 acres seasonal wetland, 0.31 acre vernal pools, and 0.30 acre wetland swale.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Background
. Both properties are located within the SVSP area. Because development of the SVSP would result in potential significant effects to the environment, in accordance with NEPA, the Corps completed a program - level EIS. The Notice of Availability (NOA) for the Draft EIS, evaluating the impacts of the proposed SVSP project, was published on July 6, 2012, for a 45 day comment period. The NOA for the Final EIS was published on June 7, 2013. On March 30, 2016, the Corps issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the EIS. The EIS was developed as a program-level document for the entire SVSP. As part of the finding of the ROD the Corps determined for each project within the SVSP area, they will prepare a separate ROD that tiers from the program-level EIS. The separate RODs would be prepared following the receipt of a complete DA permit application and issuance of a public notice. 

The attached Sierra Vista Revised Conceptual Mitigation Plan, dated January 2016, is a document that outlines an overall mitigation strategy for the SVSP area. Each permit applicant will put forth their own final plan to compensate for losses of WOUS including wetlands. 

Environmental Setting

Baseline P&R: There are a total of 4.15 acres of WOUS within this project area, comprised of 0.87 acre perennial marsh, 0.93 acre perennial stream, 0.38 acre seasonal wetland, 0.67 acre vernal pools, and 1.30 acres wetland swale. 

Baseline 80 Investors: There are a total of 3.76 acres of WOUS within this project area, comprised of 0.87 acre perennial stream, 1.22 acres pond, 1.06 acres seasonal wetland, 0.31 acre vernal pools, and 0.30 acre wetland swale. 

Wetland swales are linear sloping seasonal wetlands that occur in topographic swales verses seasonal wetland which occur in depressions and are inundated in the winter and early spring. Vernal pools are seasonally inundated wetland occurring within topographic depressions which occur both as isolated features in the landscape and in associated wetland and non-wetland swales. The typically flood to depths of 2 inches to 1 foot in the winter and early spring. The site is characterized by gently rolling topography and large, open annual grassland areas. The entire project area has been disked, plowed and dry-farmed. These agricultural activities have significantly affected both the upland and wetland plant communities. The dominant plant community within the project area is ruderal non-native annual grassland made up of a variety of naturalized Mediterranean grasses including soft chess (Bromus hordeaceus), ripgut brome (B. diandrus), medusa head (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), and wild oats (Avena fatua). Common herbaceous species include filarees (Erodium spp.), yellow star-thistle (Centaurea solstitialis), rose clover (Trifolium hirtum), cut leaf geranium (Geranium dissectum), tarweed (Holocarpha virgata), Fitch’s spikeweed (Hemizonia fitchii), common vetch (Vicia sativa), and hairy hawkbit (Leontodon taraxacoides).

Surface runoff within the project area flows to the west, via Curry Creek. The soils on the sites occur on low terraces, are shallow to moderately deep, and underlain by hardpans except for Cometa which is underlain by a dense clay pan. The average depth to hard pan or clay pan on these soils ranges from 18” to 40”.

Alternatives. The applicant for the proposed project has not provided information concerning project on-site alternatives. Additional information concerning project alternatives may be available from the applicants or their agents. Other alternatives may develop during the review process for these permit applications. 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 applicants are unable to avoid or minimize all impacts, the Corps may require compensatory mitigation.

The proposed SVSP includes approximately 227.5 acres of open space preserves aligned along the two main drainage courses (Curry Creek and Federico Creek and along the Western Area Power Administration transmission corridor). Approximately 21.57 acres of seasonal wetland and emergent marsh would be constructed and 13.75 acres of wetland and other waters would be preserved within the open space corridors. The applicant proposes to establish 100-foot buffers along the stream corridors to minimize indirect impacts from the proposed development.

The applicants are proposing to fund the long-term maintenance of the open space preserves in perpetuity. Conservation easements over the open space preserves are proposed to be granted to the City of Roseville, and they in turn, would be responsible for the long term maintenance of the preserve under the City‘s Open Space Preserve Overarching Management Plan.

The applicant proposes to preserve 0.72 acre of wetlands and other Waters of the United States on site within 22.2 acres of the Curry Creek corridor for the Baseline P&R site and 1.10 acres of wetland and other WOUS on-site within the 17.9 acres of the Curry Creek corridor for the Baseline 80 Investors site. The proposed Sierra Vista Conceptual Mitigation Plan states: “prior to initiating construction in waters of the U.S., each permittee shall submit a final mitigation plan for approval to the Corps.” To date this applicant has not submitted their plan. Prior to any approval of a discharge of fill material into waters of the U.S., the applicant will submit their proposed compensatory mitigation plan to the Corps for approval.

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 indicated they have applied for certification.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The Corps consulted with the California State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) for the entire SVSP, including the Baseline P&R and Baseline 80 Investors properties, and determined there would be no effect to historic properties. The Corps received no comment from SHPO. Per 33 CFR 325, Appendix C(7), because no response was received from SHPO, the Corps may conclude the permit decision. 

ENDANGERED SPECIES: On October 23, 2013, the Corps initiated consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for potential impacts to the Federally-listed vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi), vernal pool tadpole shrimp (Lepidurus packardi), and giant garter snake (Thamnophis gigas) for the SVSP. On May 5, 2015, and December 17, 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued biological opinions (BO) for the entire SVSP including the D F property project. The USFWS BO’s will become a condition of any Corps permit issued for projects within the SVSP, including the proposed RGP.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The SVSP does not contain habitat for anadromous fish, and therefore there would be no effect to essential fish habitat from the Proposed Action. 

The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicant, our preliminary review of the application, and the EIS 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-2005-001062 and SPK-2006-00331, must be submitted to the office listed below on or before September 21, 2016.

Nancy Haley, Chief, California North Branch
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 95814-2922
Email: Nancy.A.Haley@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 Nancy Haley, 916-557-7731, Nancy.A.Haley@usace.army.mil.

Attachments:
Lands of Baseline P&R LLC Properties SPK 2005-01062 (4 drawings)
Baseline 80 Investors LLC SPK 2006-00331 (4 drawings)
Sierra Vista - Revised Conceptual Mitigation Plan, dated January 2016