Comments Period: April 17 2018 – May 17, 2018
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Daybreak Master Plan project, which would result in impacts to approximately 48 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to Alexander Lake, Thomas Creek and Steamboat Creek. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments. This notice may also be viewed at the Corps web site at www.spk.usace.army.mil/Media/RegulatoryPublicNotices.aspx.
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: Newport Pacific Land Co., LLC
Attn: Mr. Mark Burkes
100 Bayview Circle, Suite 2200
Newport Beach, California 92660
LOCATION: The approximately 980-acre project site is located on Alexander Lake, Thomas Creek and adjacent to the East and West banks of Steamboat Creek; Latitude 39.4634°, Longitude -119.7334°; Reno, Washoe County, Nevada, and can be seen on the Steamboat USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a mixed-use development that would provide a mix of housing opportunities. The proposed project would develop approximately 630 acres of the site. A total of 4,700 dwelling units in three density ranges, ranging from 8 to 30 units per acre, are proposed including single family residential lots (2,859 units), approximately 99 acres of mixed neighborhood (1,149 units), and approximately 26 acres of multi-family residences (692 units). To construct the mixed-use development, the applicant would place up to 270,000 cubic yards of clean fill from onsite into approximately 48 acres of aquatic resources located on both sides of the future Southeast Connector (see table for impacts by aquatic resource type). Also included in the project proposal is the construction of a culverted crossing of Steamboat Creek outside of the 980-acre parcel connecting the East and West portions of the development at South Meadows Parkway. Construction of the bridge would result in direct impacts to 0.491 acre of Steamboat Creek. The development would also be connected by a regional bike and pedestrian trail network. The project also proposes the construction of connector roadways. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct a mixed-use development. The applicant believes there is a need to construct a large mixed-use development in the greater (within 20 miles) Reno/Sparks metro area allowing the City of Reno to meet its growing housing needs. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 16 acres of emergent wetlands, approximately 6 acres of stream and approximately 56 acres of open water (Alexander Lake) within the project area. The site is characterized by livestock grazing fields with irrigation ditches running through out. The site is located southeast of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport situated in the Huffaker Hills area of the South Truckee Meadows with elevations ranging from approximately 4300 feet in the steppe areas to approximately 4700 feet in the hills. The site is bisected by Alexander Lake Road which runs east to west. Steamboat Creek runs south to north along the eastern portion of the site and Alexander Lake is located in the southwestern portion. Surrounding uses include residential development to the north, northwest, and south; commercial development to the southwest; and the Southeast Connector to the east.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning 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 approximately 126 acres of mitigation to include approximately 15.4 acres of perennial stream, 3.3 acres of a seep/spring-fed perennial stream, and 89 acres of emergent marsh/seasonal wetland habitat that would be re-established, established, and enhanced. The mitigation design proposes to create a mosaic of emergent marsh/seasonal wetland habitat with flow-through multiple channel streams. The design also includes upland areas that would add to the overall habitat diversity increasing the functions and services of the proposed mitigation.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Quality Planning is required for this project. The NDEP will review the project to determine if the proposed work will comply with applicable water quality standards. Projects are usually certified for construction activities that may discharge diffuse (nonpoint) sources of pollutants and where best management practices would be required to prevent erosion, control sediment and protect water quality. Written comments on water quality certification should be submitted to Ms. Jean Stone, Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Water Quality Planning, 901 South Stewart Street, Suite 4001, Carson City, Nevada 89701-5249, or email firstname.lastname@example.org, on or before
May 17, 2018.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled Cultural Resources Inventory for the Daybreak Housing Development Project, Washoe County, Nevada), 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 project would not affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by 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 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-2017-00275 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before May 17, 2018.
Kristine Ceragioli, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Reno Regulatory Field Office
300 Booth Street, Room 3050
Reno, Nevada 89509
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 Kristine Ceragioli by phone at (775) 784-5304, or by email at Kristine.S.Hansen@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 6 drawings