SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Fieldstone North project, which would result in impacts to approximately 1.586 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, adjacent to Elk Grove Creek. 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: LVP Revocable Trust
Attn: Mr. Thad Johnson
2020 L Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, California 95811
AGENT: Foothill Associates
Attn: Mr. Kenneth Whitney
590 Menlo Drive, Suite 5
Rocklin, California 95765
LOCATION: The approximately 105-acre site is located northwest of the intersection of Grant Line Road and Bradshaw Road, in Sections 5 and 6, Township 6 North, Range 6 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Latitude 38.39860° North, Longitude 121.34022° West, in the City of Elk Grove, Sacramento County, California, and can be seen on the CA-Elk Grove USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing discharge approximately 5,117 cubic yards of clean fill material into approximately 1.586 acres of waters of the U.S., including 0.137 acre of Elk Grove Creek, 0.018 acre of depressional seasonal wetlands, 0.921 acre of riverine seasonal wetland, 0.047 acre of riverine seasonal marsh, and 0.453 acre of vernal pools to construct a low-density, single-family residential development, and associated infrastructure.
The proposed project would result in the construction of approximately 391 single-family residences, a 6.7 acre neighborhood park, three open space/drainage lots on 5.6 acres with two water quality treatment basins, 0.5 acre of pedestrian and emergency access, and associated streetscape. The applicant is also proposing to relocate and channelize the riverine seasonal wetland that originates on the northern property boundary, to a linear open space drainage area to the west. Two water quality treatment basins are proposed to be constructed at the southern end of the proposed open space drainage area. Proposed on-site infrastructure associated with the proposed project would include the construction of internal access roads with one access point to Grant Line Road, and water, sewer, and storm water/drainage improvements.
Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct a residential development. The applicant believes there is a need to construct single-family residences to accommodate the housing needs within Elk Grove and the greater Sacramento Region. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. Historically the site was level to rolling, although agricultural activities have removed any minor topographic relief. Currently, the slopes on the site range from 0 to 1% and elevations range from approximately 49 to 52 feet above mean sea level.
Land to the north and northwest is currently developed with single-family residences, with Derr-Okamoto Park bordering the project site to the north, undeveloped residential developments to the west and south, and agricultural lands to the south-east. The proposed project site is located within the East Elk Grove Specific Plan of the Elk Grove General Plan.
The proposed project site contains approximately 2.635 acres of waters of the U.S., including 1.177 acres of Elk Grove Creek, 0.018 acre of depressional seasonal wetlands, 0.930 acre of a riverine seasonal wetland, 0.057 acre of riverine seasonal marsh, and 0.453 acre of vernal pools. The proposed project site is dominated by annual grassland and dry-farmed cropland. The site is currently dry farmed for hay and grain.
The proposed project site is located within the uppermost part of the watershed of Elk Grove Creek, which crosses the southern portion of the project site and flows into Laguna Creek, a tributary to the Sacramento River. The portion of Elk Grove Creek on the project site is seasonal and has historically received agricultural runoff from fields to the east of Grant Line Road. Dominant vegetation in Elk Grove Creek consists primarily of common tule (Schoenoplectus actus), cattail (typha sp.), tall flat sedge (Cyperus eragrostis), and Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus). West of Waterman Road, Elk Grove Creek has been modified into a constructed trapezoidal channel that flows through residential areas of Elk Grove prior to its confluence with Laguna Creek west of State Highway 99.
The depressional seasonal wetlands on the site are located immediately adjacent to the riverine seasonal wetland that flows through the center of the proposed project site. The riverine seasonal wetland originates from a constructed stormwater “bubble up” located at the northern site boundary. The bottom elevation of the stormwater facility is located several feet below the thalweg of the riverine seasonal wetland. The “bubble up” must first fill with water before downstream flows into the riverine seasonal wetland can occur. Dominant vegetation within the depressional seasonal wetlands and riverine seasonal wetland include dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum), tall flat sedge, barnyard grass (Echinochloa crus-galli), annual hairgrass (Deschampsia danthonioides), and Italian ryegrass (Lolium perenne).
The riverine seasonal marsh on the site is located in the south-western corner of the site, along the western property boundary, and directly abuts Elk Grove Creek. This feature is associated with an overflow area of Elk Grove creek, and is dominated by wetland vegetation.
The vernal pools are located in the north-eastern corner of the site, and consist of shallow, seasonally inundated depressional soils. Due to regular plowing and planting of the site, typical vernal pool vegetation was not found within these vernal pools.
Alternatives. The applicant has not 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 to place1.049 acres of waters of the U.S., including 1.040 acres of Elk Grove Creek, and 0.009 acre of riverine seasonal wetland, into a 7.2 acre preserve. In addition, the applicant has proposed to compensate for the loss of waters of the U.S. through the purchase of creation credits from a Corps approved mitigation bank, at a 1:1 ratio.
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they have not applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: The applicant has not submitted information regarding potential cultural resources within the proposed project area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, if necessary.
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, 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-2011-00351 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before February 27, 2014.
Lisa Gibson, 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 Lisa Gibson, 916-557-5288, Lisa.M.Gibson2@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 4 drawings