Comments Period: September 25, 2015 – October 26, 2015
SUBJECT: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the East Cypress Corridor project, which would result in impacts to approximately 4.5 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands, adjacent to Dutch, Sand Mound, and Rock Sloughs and work within Rock Slough. This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.
AUTHORITY: This application is being evaluated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 for structures or work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for the discharge of dredged or fill material in waters of the United States.
APPLICANT: ACD-TI Oakley, LLC, Attn: Mr. Perry Hariri, 235 W. Main Street, Los Gatos, California 95030
LOCATION: The approximately 1,246.6-acre Project Area is located east of Jersey Island Road, north of Rock Slough and south of Dutch Slough, in Sections 21, 27, 28, 33, and 34 Township 2 North, Range 3 East, Mount Diablo Meridian, Latitude 37o59’32.82” North, Longitude 121o38’50.22” West, in the City of Oakley, eastern Contra Costa County, in the western Delta. The site is located on the Brentwood, Woodward Island and Jersey Island 7.5-minute quadrangles. The site is comprised of several parcels, partially separated by scattered rural residential development along East Cypress Road.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The applicant is proposing to construct a large-scale mixed-use commercial and residential development. The development would consist of the construction of approximately 2400 single family homes on approximately 310.8 acres. Additionally the project would include 24.7 acres of commercial development and associated infrastructure including roads utilities, schools, parks and an approximately 76.3 acres for a new flood control levee. Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct a large-scale mixed used development, which may include recreation, open space and wetland preserve areas. The applicant believes there is a need for this type of development to serve East Contra Costa County. The attached 11 drawings provide additional project details, Table 1 details the proposed land usage with the 1,246.6 acre project site.
Environmental Setting: There are approximately 133.97 acres of seasonal wetlands, agricultural ditches and sloughs within the project area. Topography on site is relatively flat, ranging in elevation from approximately 8 feet below mean sea level (msl) at the north end of the site and approximately 17 feet above msl at the south end of the site. The predominant vegetation community within the site is low-lying irrigated pasture. Other vegetation communities present include non-native annual grassland/ruderal habitat, interior dune community, alkali meadow and grassland, Great Valley riparian forest/willow scrub, and valley freshwater marsh/seasonal wetland. The site is currently being used for livestock grazing.
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 establish two on-site mitigation areas. The 260.79-acre North Preserve would preserve 78.72 acres of existing jurisdictional wetlands and create/restore approximately 7 acres of seasonal wetland habitats. The 20.5-acre South Preserve will preserve 9.6 acres seasonal wetlands, riparian scrub, and slough.
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: 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 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 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-2014-01048 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before October 26, 2015.
William Guthrie, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
California South Branch, 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 Guthrie, 916-557-5269, William.H.Guthrie@usace.army.mil.
Attachments: 11 drawings, 1 Table