SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Amoruso Ranch project, which would result in impacts to approximately 16.5 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, in or adjacent to tributaries of Pleasant 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: Ms. Deanne Green, Brookfield Sunset, LLC, 2271 Lava Ridge Court, Suite 220, Roseville, California 95661-3065
LOCATION: The 674-acre site is located in Sections 11 and 14, Township 11 North, Range 5 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Latitude 38.817077°, Longitude -121.386297°, Roseville, Placer County, California, and can be seen on the CA-Pleasant Grove USGS Topographic Quadrangle.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a primarily residential development of approximately 3,027 housing units and 433,750 square feet of retail and commercial uses on 629 acres of the site. A segment of the future Placer Parkway would be constructed by others on 49 acres of the site and is not part of this permit application. The applicant believes there is a need to construct residential and commercial space to accommodate the region’s projected population growth over the next 10 to 20 years. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct a large primarily residential development in Western Placer, Southern Sutter, Eastern Yolo or Sacramento Counties. The attached drawings provide additional project details.
Environmental Setting. There are approximately 38 acres of wetland and other waters of the United States within the project area, including 9.81 acres of vernal pools, 19.74 acres of seasonal wetland swales, 4.83 acres of seasonal wetlands, 1.82 acres of marsh, 1.92 acres of intermittent stream (University Creek), 0.364 acres of pond, and <0.01 acres of ephemeral drainage. The site is characterized by relatively flat to gently rolling terrain with elevations of approximately 70 to 100 feet above mean sea level. The aquatic habitats are interspersed within an annual grassland plant community, which is comprised primarily of non-native naturalized Mediterranean grasses. University Creek, an intermittent drainage and tributary of Pleasant Grove Creek, flows from east to west through the southern portion of the site. The site has historically been used for cattle grazing and agriculture.
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 will 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 construct permittee-responsible compensatory mitigation at three nearby off-site properties, Mourier East, Mourier West, and Skover.
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 not indicated they have applied for certification.
HISTORIC PROPERTIES: Potentially eligible cultural resources may be affected by the proposed project. 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 will directly impact 13.79 acres of aquatic features considered to be habitat for the vernal pool fairy shrimp (Branchinecta lynchi), which is Federally-listed as threatened. 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 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 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-2004-00888 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before May 24, 2014.
William 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. 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 William Ness, 916-557-5268, William.W.Ness@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 4 drawings