Comments Period: June 7, 2017 – July 6, 2017
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Lewis Property project, which would result in impacts to approximately 15.06 acres of waters of the United States, comprised of vernal pools and other seasonal wetlands, adjacent to the Ingram Slough. 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: Lewis Operating Corporation, 9216 Kiefer Boulevard, Sacramento, California 95826
LOCATION: The approximately 516-acre project site is located southwest of the City of Lincoln and west of Highway 65, Latitude 38.862792°, Longitude -121.327620°, Placer County, California., and can be seen on the CA-ROSEVILLE USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a mixed-use master planned residential community. Associated project elements include open space, linear parkways, parks, paseos, a neighborhood community center, a recreation center, an elementary school, and associated infrastructure. In addition, off-site improvements include upgrading Moore Road to provide access to the Project and a trail crossing of Ingram Slough at the eastern portion of the site connecting to the trail system in the existing Lincoln Crossing Development. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct a medium scale mixed-use development and associated infrastructure in western Placer County. The applicant believes there is a need to help meet the City of Lincoln’s housing demand. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 57.85 acres of vernal pool, seasonal wetland, freshwater marsh, and ponds within the project area. The site consists of primarily nonnative annual grasslands, historically irrigated pastures, and dry farmed cropland (forage crops).
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning a number of on-site and off-site project alternatives. 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 a combination of purchasing credits at an approved wetland mitigation bank, as well as off-site preservation and enhancement of nearby wetlands at an adjacent property currently owned by the City of Lincoln.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: 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 annual grassland landscape is interspersed with vernal pool/vernal swale complexes that are known to support the federally threatened vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi). The proposed activity may affect and is likely to adversely affect these listed species. The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, in accordance with 50 CFR 402.16.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: Based on information provided by the applicant and our preliminary review, the permit area does not contain Essential Fish Habitat (EFH); therefore, the proposed discharge of dredged or fill material would not adversely affect 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-2000-00386, must be submitted to the office listed below on or before July 6, 2017.
Matthew Montgomery, Senior Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
400 Rood Avenue, Room 224
Grand Junction, Colorado 81501
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 Matthew Montgomery, (970) 243-1199 Ext. 1017, Matthew.R.Montgomery@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 3 drawings