SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Coldstream Development Project. The proposed project would result in impacts to approximately 2.54 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: Mike Isle
Stonebridge Properties, LLC
3600 American River Drive, Suite 160
Sacramento, California 95864-5950
AGENT: Karen Shaffer
Gibson & Skordall, LLC
2617 K Street, Suite 175
Sacramento, California 95816
LOCATION: The 180-acre proposed project site is located in the Town of Truckee in Sections 16 and 17, Township 17 North, Range 16 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, CA-TRUCKEE USGS Topographic Quadrangle, Latitude 39.32022°, Longitude -120.22295°, Placer County, California. The proposed project site is located approximately 2 miles west of Truckee’s historic downtown at the entrance of the Coldstream Canyon, just south of Interstate 80, and approximately one-half mile southeast of Donner Lake.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant proposes to construct a mixed use development to include approximately 10 acres of commercial uses (up to 30,000 square feet), approximately 61 acres of residential uses (up to 300 units), and approximately 109 acres of open space and recreational uses, including trails. The applicant also proposes to enhance former mining ponds and restore and enhance the natural geomorphic and ecological process on the portion of Cold Creek which crosses the project site. These enhancements would reduce sediment discharges to the Truckee River. The proposed on-site development would result in the discharge of fill into approximately 2.5 acres of waters of the U.S. The proposed development would require off-site infrastructure improvements including the construction of a recreational trail, road improvements, and the replacement of a culvert in Donner Creek. These off-site improvements would result in the discharge of fill into approximately 0.04 acres of waters of the U.S.
Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is housing and commercial development within the Truckee-Tahoe Area. The applicant believes there is a need to develop a residential community within this area. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 53.57 acres of waters of the U.S. (14.65 acres of wetlands and 38.92 acres of other waters) within the proposed project area. The site is characterized by scattered stands of lodgepole pine and patches of grasslands, upland mountain sagebrush and bitterbrush plant communities. In addition to the mining ponds, Cold Creek and Donner Creek are the primary hydrologic features on-site. Existing project site elevations range from approximately 5,800 to 5,900 feet above mean sea level.
The proposed project site is bordered on the north by commercial and residential uses and Interstate 80. A Union Pacific Railroad line, the Donner Memorial State Park, and a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) materials storage yard are located south of the site. To the east, the site is bordered by the First Baptist Church and The Borders, a single-family residential development. The site is bordered to the west by a campground and the Donner Memorial State Park. The proposed project site is accessible from Donner Pass Road.
The proposed off-site infrastructure area is approximately 2.95 acres in size. This area is adjacent to the proposed project site and contains approximately 1.562 acres of waters of the U.S. including approximately 0.308 acres of Donner Creek, approximately 0.2 acres of wet meadow, approximately 0.334 acre of seasonal wetlands and approximately 0.720 acres of willow scrub wetlands.
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 proposes to avoid 51.07 acres of the 53.57 acres of waters of the U.S. on-site and avoid 1.522 acres of the 1.562 acres of waters of the U.S. within the off-site infrastructure area. The applicant proposes to mitigate impacts to 0.8 acres of wetlands and 1.7 acres of other waters of the U.S. on-site and 0.03 acres of wetland and 0.01 acres of other waters of the U.S. within the off-site infrastructure area through creation of open water and wetland habitat on-site. Creation is proposed at a minimum ratio of 1:1 creation of open water and a minimum of 1.5:1 creation of wetlands.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have applied for certification. The applicant is also seeking entitlements from the Town of Truckee to implement the proposed project. In addition, the applicant will file a Notification of Streambed Alteration with the California Department of Fish and Game.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Based on the available information, 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 proposed activity may affect Federally-listed endangered or threatened species or their critical habitat. The Corps initiated consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on May 11, 2005, requesting concurrence that the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, Lahontan cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki henshawi) and Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The USFWS concluded that the proposed project is not likely to adversely affect either federally-listed species. The Corps will reinitiate consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project will 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-1992-00338 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before December 10, 2012.
Krystel Bell, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
1325 J Street, Room 1350
Sacramento, California 95814-2922
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 Krystel Bell, by telephone at 916-557-7745, or via email at Krystel.L.Bell@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 3 drawings