Comments Period: January 17 – February 16
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Arbor Ranch project, which would result in permanent impacts to approximately 3.095 acres of waters of the Unites States, including 2.121 acres of vernal pools, 0.716 acre of wetland swale, 0.216 acre of depressional seasonal wetland, and 0.042 acre of irrigation ditch. 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: Richland Planned Communities, Inc., Attn: Mr. Clifton Taylor, 3000 Lava Ridge Court, Suite 115, Roseville, California 95661
AGENT: Madrone Ecological Consulting, LLC, Attn: Ms. Ginger Fodge, 8421 Auburn Boulevard, Suite 248, Sacramento, California 95610
LOCATION: The approximately 174-acre project site is located west of Highway 99, east of Bruceville Road, south of Poppy Ridge Road, and immediately north of the eastern terminus of Bilby Road in the Laguna Ridge Specific Plan, at Latitude 38.38693°, Longitude -121.40842°, Elk Grove, Sacramento County, California (Figure 1).
The applicant is proposing to construct 810 single family residences with associated infrastructure (including sidewalks, gutters, roadways, etc.), an elementary school, two parks, a stormwater detention/water quality basin, and several landscape lots. Figure 2 shows the Project site plan overlain on the wetland delineation map.
Purpose and Need
The overall project purpose is to construct a master-planned development of residential and public use facilities. The Applicant believes there is a need for additional residential development.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 3.095 acres of vernal pools, seasonal wetlands, wetland swales, and irrigation ditches within the project area. The Project site is located in the Laguna Ridge Specific Plan area, which is bounded by Elk Grove Boulevard to the north, Bilby Road to the south, Bruceville Road to the west and Highway 99 to the east. There is existing and ongoing residential development in the northern portion of the Specific Plan area, as well as an established middle school and high school. Land uses surrounding the Project site include rural residences, developed and undeveloped roadways, annual grasslands, and irrigated pastureland. Topography on the site consists of generally flat to partially leveled terrain that slopes and drains to the southwest corner.
Alternatives. The applicant has not provided information concerning project alternatives. Additional information concerning project alternatives would 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.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the project applicant is required to obtain water quality certification or a waiver from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: A Cultural Resource Assessment has been prepared for the Proposed Action in compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). 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 may affect Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 Corps will initiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as appropriate.
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-2004-00038 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before February 16, 2017.
Mr. Peck-Leong Ha, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
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 Mr. Peck-Leong Ha, (916) 557-6617, Peck.Ha@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 4 Drawings
Figure 1. Project Site and Vicinity
Figure 2. Site Plan Overlain on the Delineation Map
Figure 3. Big Horn Blvd. Cross-Section
Figure 4. Bilby Road Cross-Section