LOCATION: The approximately 192-acre project site is located in the SPA, west of the Sacramento-El Dorado County line, south of U.S. Highway 50 and north of White Rock Road, Township 9 North, Range 8 East, Latitude 38.6427º North, Longitude -121.0879º West, in the City of Folsom, in eastern Sacramento County, California, and can be seen on the CA-CLARKSVILLE USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a mixed-use development including residential and commercial uses, interior roads, and off-site improvements. The proposed project would result in the discharge of dredged/fill material into 2.83 acres of waters of the U.S., consisting of 1.17 acres of seasonal wetland swale, 1.41 acres of seep, 0.155 acre of marsh, and 0.089 acre of intermittent drainage. The placement of dredged/fill material into approximately 0.23 acre of waters of the U.S. on the Folsom Heights site were authorized under a DA permit for the SPA infrastructure on June 6, 2014 (see Additional Information, Background below), and therefore these impacts are not included in this permit application. The applicant believes there is a need for residential and commercial development. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Background: The proposed Folsom Heights project 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 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 5.87 acres of waters of the U.S., consisting of 0.61 acre of seasonal wetlands, 1.88 acres of seasonal wetland swales, 2.21 acres of seeps, 0.87 acre of marsh, 0.07 acre of willow scrub, and 0.23 acre of intermittent drainage on the proposed project site. Of the approximately 5.87 acres of waters of the U.S. on the site, approximately 0.23 acre are located within the backbone infrastructure area, and are not included in the permit application for the Folsom Heights site. The site is characterized primarily by annual grassland on gently sloping to steep topography, with elevations ranging from approximately 525 to 800 feet above mean sea level. Residential developments occur to the east, in El Dorado County, and north of U.S. Highway 50. In addition, although not constructed, the Corps has issued a permit for the discharge of dredged/fill material into waters of the U.S. for a mixed-use development on the Russell Ranch property, immediately west of the Folsom Heights property. Rural residential and agricultural uses exist south of White Rock Road.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided the October 16, 2016, Supplemental Information for Section 404(b)(1) On-Site Alternatives, Folsom Heights, 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 avoid approximately 2.80 acres of waters of the U.S., consisting of 0.60 acre of seasonal wetlands, 0.51 acre of seasonal wetland swale, 0.80 acre of seeps, 0.72 acre of marsh, 0.06 acre of willow scrub wetlands, and 0.11 acre of intermittent drainages within on-site preserves. The applicant has proposed to compensate for the loss of waters of the U.S. as follows:
1. To compensate for the loss of 0.09 acre of intermittent drainage, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.09 floodplain riparian re-establishment credits from the Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank.
2. To compensate for the loss of 1.17 acres of seasonal wetlands, the applicant proposes to purchase 1.17 floodplain mosaic establishment credits from the Cosumnes Floodplain Mitigation Bank.
3. To compensate for the loss of 1.41 acres of seep, the applicant proposes to purchase 4.23 floodplain 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 required for this project. The applicant has indicated they will apply for certification concurrent with the Section 404 application.
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 no suitable habitat for the vernal pool fairy shrimp and vernal pool tadpole shrimp occurs on the Folsom Heights site. In addition, no elderberry shrubs are located on the Folsom Heights site, and therefore no suitable habitat for VELP occurs on the Folsom Heights site. Therefore, there would be no effect to Federally-listed threatened and/or endangered species.
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-2008-00331 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before December 16, 2016
Lisa Gibson, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 95814-2922
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.