Comment Period: May 11, 2020 – June 10, 2020
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application for the discharge dredged or fill material and/or work in approximately 0.62 acre of waters of the United States to construct the East Bay Housing Project Phase II. 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: TG Development, LLC
Attn: Mr. Todd Sinks
14071 South Sleepy Oaks Lane
Herriman, UT 84096
LOCATION: The approximately 4.55-acre project site is located southeast of the I-80/1860 South Interchange, Latitude 40.207825°, Longitude -111.656369°, Provo City, Utah County, Utah, and can be seen on the Provo USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to discharge fill material into waters of the U.S. to construct an apartment building. The apartment building is Phase II of the East Bay Housing Development. It is located adjacent to the East Bay Golf Course, the currently being constructed NOORDA-College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the Rocky Mountain University medical campuses. This six story apartment building would be 405 units with 259 parking stalls in first two stories and a 26-foot wide perimeter fire access road. The project would require extensive grading and excavation due to the project being constructed on an old landfill. These soils are unsuitable for traditional load bearing construction and require the installation of geo piers (vertical
columns of compacted aggregate) for building support. The stormwater system would tie into the existing system that is treated by a sand/oil separator prior to discharging into Mill Race. The proposed project would result in the permanent loss of 0.58 acre of emergent wetland and 0.04 acre of open water. The wetland to be impacted along the western project boundary is compensatory mitigation for the I-15/University Avenue Interchange Modification project, approved in 1995. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is primarily to provide housing to the adjacent medical campus students/employees and secondarily to the surrounding area. The applicant believes there is a need to provide additional housing for the medical campuses. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 0.58 acre of freshwater emergent wetland and 0.04 acre of open water within the 4.55 acres project site. The site is neighbored by I-15 to the west, East Bay Golf Course and the future Noorda-COM campus to the south, 1860 South and the East Bay Technology Park to the north, and an empty field is east, where the East Bay Housing Phase I will be constructed. The substrate of the site is the result of a landfill that was converted into a golf course in the mid 1980’s. Wetland A is 0.47 acre and was constructed as wetland mitigation for the I-15/University Avenue modification project in 1995 and is also a regional detention pond. Wetland A is mainly comprised of common reed (Phragmites australis) and is either saturated/inundated for most of the year. Wetland B is 0.11 acre and is part of the Mill Race perennial channel. Wetland B is mainly comprised of bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutis), cattail (Typha latifolia), and reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). The remainder of the site is currently an open flat field comprised of mainly noxious weeds and has been disturbed for many years from past land uses.
Alternatives. The applicant provided information concerning two onsite alternatives and ten offsite alternatives. The two onsite alternatives would reduce wetland impacts, but according to the applicant, would create a less efficient building, higher rental fees, and not meet the demand for student/employee housing for the adjacent medical campuses. The applicant’s selection criteria for the ten offsite alternatives are ¼ mile walk to the NOORDA-COM and RMU campuses, transit and freeway accessibility within ½ mile, proximity to higher education facilities/job centers/amenities, available infrastructure, property availability, and greater wetland impacts than the proposed action. According to the applicant, none of the ten alternatives met these criteria. 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 create wetlands within the southeast corner of the East Bay Golf Course. A draft mitigation plan has not been submitted to this office.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Utah Division of Water Quality is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification. Projects are usually certified where the project may create diffuse sources (non-point sources) of wastes which will occur only during the actual construction activity and where best management practices would be employed to minimize pollution effects. A person who wishes to challenge such certification may only raise an issue or argument during an adjudicatory proceeding that is raised during the public comment period and is supported with sufficient information or documentation to enable the Director to fully consider the substance and significance of the issue. Utah Code Ann. 19-1-301.5 can be viewed at the following URL: https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title19/Chapter1/19-1-S301.html. Written comments specific to the Section 401 Water Quality Certification relative to this public notice should be submitted to Leanna Littler, Utah Division of Water Quality, P.O. Box 144870, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4870, or firstname.lastname@example.org on or before June 10, 2020.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information (including applicant's report titled "Class III Cultural Resource Inventory for the NOORDA College and Housing Project, Provo, Utah County, Utah"), 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. The Corps will initiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
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-2007-01227 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before June 10, 2020.
Hollis Jencks, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
533 West 2600 South, Suite 150
Bountiful, Utah 84010
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 Hollis Jencks, (801) 295-8380 ext. 8318, Hollis.G.Jencks@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 8 drawings