image - a family of ducks at Pine Flat Lake

Public Notices

Under the Corps' Regulatory Program, a public notice is the primary method for advising all interested parties of a proposed activity for which a permit is sought. Soliciting comments and information necessary to evaluate the probable impacts on the public interest. Public notices are also published to inform the public about new or proposed regulations, policies, guidance or permit procedures.

Public Notices published by the Sacramento District under the Regulatory Program are posted on this page. Once a public notice is available on-line, an email notification is sent to individuals on the appropriate mailing list.

Comments are due by the expiration date of the public notice.  Only comments submitted by email or in hard copy format through a delivery service, such as the U.S. Postal Service, can be accepted.   Comments must be submitted to the address listed in the public notice.

Sign Up for Public Notices

Mailing lists are categorized by county and state. For instructions to be added to a Public Notice notification list, see

SPK-2004-00290, Middletown, Lake County, CA

Published March 13, 2015
Expiration date: 4/13/2015

Sacramento District

Comments Period: March 13, 2015 – April 13, 2015

SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Valley Oaks Subdivision project, which would result in impacts to approximately 1.317 acres of waters of the United States, including 1.25 acres of Coyote Creek and 0.067 acre of seasonal 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: Kimco Construction, Attn: Mr. Ken Porter, P.O. Box 7129, Santa Rosa, California 95407-0129

LOCATION: The 150-acre site is located in Section 17, Township 11 North, Range 6 West, Mount Diablo Meridian, Latitude 38.79787°, Longitude -122.56553°, Middletown, Lake County, California, and can be seen on the CA-MIDDLETOWN USGS Topographic Quadrangle.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a mixed-use residential retirement community and a commercial development consists of 380 single-family residential retirement lots, 55 medium density residential units, a commercial retail and office complex, senior housing and residential care facility, public recreation and open space within the Middletown/Coyote Valley. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct a mixed-use residential and commercial development within south portion of Lake County along the Highway 29 corridor from town of Twin Lakes to the Lake/Napa County line. The applicant believes there is a need to meet current and future housing needs and commercial demands within the southern portion of Lake County. The attached drawings provide additional project details.


    Environmental Setting. There are approximately 1.25 acres of Coyote Creek and 0.067 acre of seasonal wetlands within the project area. The site is characterized by The project site consists primarily of an abandoned horse ranch with associated residential structures, barns, corrals, grazing pastures and as well as a man-made stock pond (Figure 3). The site is located in the unincorporated community of Coyote Valley, which is characterized by a mixture of single-family residential homes, a golf course, and undeveloped lands. The neighboring Hidden Valley Lake subdivision includes several thousand residences. To the east of the project site, lies the Hidden Valley Golf Course, additional single-family residences, an elementary school, and undeveloped pasture land.

The project site is generally flat with a gentle down-slope gradient to the southeast. The project site’s elevations range from 950 feet to 980 feet above mean sea level, with no areas that would create the potential for slope instability or landslides. The most significant topographic variation on the project site is Coyote Creek, which bisects the northern portion of the site (Figure 3). Coyote Creek is an ephemerally flowing channel that connects the Hidden Valley Lake dam spillway, which is located upstream of the project site, with Putah Creek which is located downstream of the project site. The Coyote Creek channel corridor is incised, with steep to vertically cut banks 5 to 6 feet high in most locations. The only other significant topographic feature lies in the southwest corner of the site where a manmade stock pond was excavated (Figure 3).

The current creek channel location on the project site appears to constitute a realignment of the historic channel corridor. The historic (abandoned) creek corridor was apparently located farther to the south, as suggested by two natural meandering stands of mature valley oaks (Quercus lobata) approximately 500 feet south of the current creek corridor (Figure 3). Site topography and historic aerial photography from 1952 also suggests this more southerly flow alignment (Figure 4). The re-alignment was probably done to accommodate agricultural uses on the site by providing a more direct and rapid means of routing flood water through the site.

The project site is underlain by Kelsey fine sandy loam and Still loam soils, The majority of the project site supports non-native grassland dominated by wild oats (Avena spp.) and ripgut brome (Bromus diandrus). Common non-native weedy forbs include bristly ox-tongue (Picris echioides), wild radish (Raphanus sativus), chicory (Cichorium intybus), yellow star-thistle (Centaure solstitalis), and Italian thistle (Carduus pycnocephalus). The site also contains three stands of mature valley oaks, one along the upper reach of Coyote Creek in the northeastern corner of the project site and two along the lower abandoned reach of Coyote Creek (Figure 3). Scattered valley oaks also occur elsewhere along the abandoned reach. A fourth stand of mature valley oaks occurs immediately downstream of the project site along Coyote Creek in the reach between the site and its confluence with Gallagher Creek.

The grassland is currently grazed by cattle and horses. Other than the three linear stands of mature valley oaks, the site does not support any appreciable woody riparian habitat. Residences, ranch buildings, stables, corrals, and other facilities associated with livestock operations are present in the south central portion of the site. The pastures support non-native grasses with blue elderberry (Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea; formerly S. mexicana) trees and shrubs growing along the fence lines, apparently as a result of seed distribution from birds perching along the fences.

    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 mitigate at a Corps approved mitigation bank or an in-lieu-fee payment program.

OTHER GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORIZATIONS: Water quality certification or a waiver, as required under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act from the mix-used residential/commercial development is required for this project. The applicant has indicated they would apply for CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, and 1602 Streambed Alteration Agreement.

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 necessary.

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, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The proposed project would not affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) as defined in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. 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-2004-00290 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before April 13, 2015.

Mr. Peck Ha, 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 Mr. Peck Ha, 916-557-6617,

Attachments: 7 drawings