SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating 22 permit applications to construct the Placer Vineyards Specific Plan project and an additional Regional General Permit application for the construction of the plan area infrastructure, which would result in impacts to approximately 119.2 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to Dry Creek. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Sacramento District, has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that analyzes the potential effects of implementing the proposed action and alternatives for development of a large-scale, regional mixed-use residential project in western Placer County. The DEIS documents the existing condition of environmental resources in and around areas considered for development, and potential impacts on those resources as a result of implementing the alternatives.
Under its regulatory program, the Corps will complete decisions on the applications for a Department of the Army Permits to discharge dredged and/or fill material. The Proposed Action consists of 22 developments integrated under one specific plan as well as the associated infrastructure, all of which have submitted Department of the Army permit applications.
The Corps is the lead Federal agency responsible for the preparation of this DEIS. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity, to solicit comments on the proposed project and the DEIS. An electronic version of the DEIS may be viewed at the USACE, Sacramento District Website: http://www.spk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/Permitting/EnvironmentalImpactStatements.aspx.
In addition, a hardcopy of the DEIS may also be reviewed at the following locations:
(1) Community Development Resource Center public counter, 3091 County Center Drive, DeWitt Center, Auburn, CA 95603;
(2) Placer County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, 2954 Richardson Drive, Auburn, CA 95603; and
(3) Roseville Public Library, 225 Taylor Street, Roseville, CA 95678City of Roseville Permits Center, 311 Vernon Street, Roseville, California 95678.
AUTHORITY: These applications are 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: Twenty-two individual permit applications have been received for these proposed developments and an application for a regional general permit has been received for the infrastructure. The primary contact for the applicants as a group is Kent MacDaiarmid, The MacDiarmid Company, 1079 Sunrise Avenue, Suite B-317, Roseville, California 95661. (See Attached document for list of applicants)
LOCATION: The 5,230-acre site is located in portions of Sections 6 and 7 of Township 10 North, Range 6 East and Sections 1 - 12 of Township 10 North, Range 5 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, in Placer County, California. The plan area is bounded on the North by Baseline Road, on the East by Walerga Road, on the South by Dry Creek and the Placer County – Sacramento County Line, and on the West by the Placer County – Sutter County Line.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The “Base Plan” scenario includes: 3,361 acres of residential uses totaling 14,132 single- and multi-family residential units at buildout, 309 acres of commercial and office uses, 309 acres of public/quasi-public uses such as schools, 211 acres of parks, 709 acres of open space, and 331 acres of roadways. The “Blueprint” scenario includes: 3,220 acres of residential uses totaling 21,631 single- and multi-family residential units at buildout, 342 acres of commercial and office uses, 366 acres of public/quasi-public uses such as schools, 273 acres of parks, 709 acres of open space, and 321 acres of roadways. Development under the Proposed Action, if authorized, would fill approximately 119.2 acres of wetlands and other jurisdictional waters of the United States as defined by the CWA.
The USACE has determined that the overall project purpose for the Proposed Action is to construct a large-scale, regional mixed-use residential project in western Placer County.
Environmental Setting. The project site is characterized by gently rolling topography and large, open tracts of grazing land with a few stands of native and non-native trees. The site’s natural features include Curry Creek, which traverses the northeasterly portion of the site, Dry Creek, which borders it on the southeast, and several minor drainage swales, intermittent creeks and drainages, and scattered vernal pools.
Alternatives. Chapter 2 of this DEIS, Proposed Action and Alternatives, provides a complete description of each of the alternatives analyzed. The alternatives considered in detail are:
(i) No Action Alternative (no discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S.);
(ii) Proposed Action Alternative, the applicant group’s preferred alternative, which includes a range of development densities with the lower limit of the range denoted as the “Base Plan Scenario” and the upper limit denoted as the “Blueprint Scenario”;
(iii) Alternative 1, a reduced footprint alternative that avoids wetlands on Property 1B, a 56-acre property located in the eastern portion of the Placer Vineyards Specific Plan area;
(iv) Alternative 2, a reduced footprint alternative that avoids wetlands on Property 3, a 101-acre property located in the northeastern portion of the Placer Vineyards Specific Plan area;
(v) Alternative 3, a reduced footprint alternative that avoids wetlands on Property 16, a 94-acre property located in the southwestern portion of the Placer Vineyards Specific Plan area;
(vi) Alternative 4, a reduced footprint alternative that avoids wetlands on Property 17, a 20-acre property located in the southwestern portion of the Placer Vineyards Specific Plan area;
(vii) Alternative 5, a reduced footprint alternative that avoids wetlands on Property 23, a 93-acre property located in the western portion of the Placer Vineyards Specific Plan area; and
(viii) Combined Alternatives 1 through 5.
Mitigation. Chapter 3 of this DEIS, Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences, provides a complete description of the effects or impacts associated with each alternative as well as mitigation measures. The Corps requires that applicants consider and use all reasonable and practical measures to avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources. For all impacts the the applicant is unable to avoid or minimize, the Corps will require compensatory mitigation. The applicants have proposed a conceptual mitigation plan (Chapter 2) which includes onsite preservation, and offsite establishment, restoration and preservation components.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Central Valley Water Board is required for this project. The applicants have not indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The Corps has initiated consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
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 the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat. The Corps will initiate consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service, pursuant to Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as appropriate.
The above determinations are based on information provided by the applicants 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-1999-00737 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before June 10, 2013.
Will Ness, 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. The Corps will hold a public meeting for this project on May 30, 2013, from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM at the Roseville Sports Center within Mahany Regional Park at 1545 Pleasant Grove Boulevard, Roseville, California 95747. 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 Will Ness, 916-557-5268, William.W.Ness@usace.army.mil.