Comments Period: October 31, 2019 – November 30, 2019
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Edgewater Park Subdivision project, which would result in impacts to approximately 2.07 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands. 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: Prince Development
Attn: Mr. Alan Prince
2155 Aspenwood Loop
Lehi, Utah 84043
LOCATION: The approximately 12.75-acre project site is located at 2980 Bluff Road, Latitude 41.068750°, Longitude -112.056845°, Syracuse, Davis County, Utah and can be seen on the Clearfield USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to develop approximately 12.75-acres of undeveloped, non-irrigated pastureland into a residential community consisting of 51 single-family lots for senior residents. The community will support amenities including a pickleball court and a community gathering area (pavilion) with up to four vehicle parking spaces. An access road and utilities will also be constructed. The project would require the filling of 1.99-acres of emergent wet meadow. In addition, approximately 430 linear feet (0.08-acres) of an intermittent ditch would be impacted for water conveyance into a stormwater collection system. Basements are not being considered for the residential buildings. All dwellings are
scheduled to be constructed utilizing slab on grade practices. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to provide a viable residential housing community for seniors. The applicant believes there is a need to develop residential communities targeting the older population. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 1.99 acres of palustrine emergent wet meadow wetlands within the project area and 430 linear feet (0.08-acres) of intermittent drainage. The site is located on the south side of South Bluff Road and west of the Jensen
Nature Preserve. The property is undeveloped and is used for pasturing livestock, primarily horses. There is a small, abandoned irrigation ditch on the west side of the property that extends in a southerly direction from the north property line approximately 430 feet. This ditch terminates on the property. Based on appearance, the ditch has not been used in a long time, as it is completely vegetated. This ditch appears to have water in it during the spring when groundwater is elevated, but remains dry the remainder of the year.
Alternatives. The applicant has provided information concerning four project alternatives, including the no-action alternative, the preferred alternative (current proposal), development of alternate locations that present minimal or no impacts to aquatic resources, and alternate on-site configurations. Based on an alternatives analysis provided by the applicant, the only practicable alternative is the preferred alternative as the project area is owned by the applicant, it is located in an area where there is a need for senior housing, and the site is easily accessible.
The no action alternative would not achieve the project purpose. Four off-site locations were evaluated (see alternate site locations plan). Three of the sites do not support aquatic resources. The fourth location is adjacent to the project area and supports aquatic resources. Although potential impacts could be avoided or minimized by relocating the project to one of the sites with no aquatic resources, the applicant has indicated that the sites are not zoned for residential use and are not listed or likely to be listed for sale which makes this alternative not available, thus not practicable.
A fourth alternative considered was to investigate potential options for on-site development modifications including reducing the number of lots, realignment of the road system, and reducing yard space on lots to reduce the impacts to the wetlands documented on-site. The applicant has indicated this alternative is not feasible due to a previous reduction in lot number, from 68 to 51 lots. Furthermore, the applicant has stated the realignment of the roads and a reduction in lot size is not feasible due to fire department requirements for lateral spacing between roads and City of Syracuse setback requirements.
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 preserve higher quality wetlands existing within the project site and compensate all unavoidable impacts through the purchase of mitigation credits from the Machine Lake Mitigation Bank.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the applicant's cultural resources report, no cultural resources were identified within the project's area of potential effect. 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-2018-00408 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before November 30, 2019.
Nicole Fresard, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Bountiful Regulatory Office
533 West 2600 South, Suite 150
Bountiful, Utah 84010-7744
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 Nicole Fresard, (801) 295-8380 X 8321, Nicole.D.Fresard@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 5 drawings