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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.

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SPK-1992-00105 - El Dorado County, California

Published July 21, 2016
Expiration date: 8/20/2016

Comments Period:  July 21, 2016 August 20, 2016

SUBJECT:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, (Corps) is evaluating a permit application to construct the Carson Creek Unit 2 Project (CCU2P), which would result in impacts to approximately 7.91 acres of waters of the United States, including wetlands.  This notice is to inform interested parties of the proposed activity and to solicit comments.  This notice may also be viewed at the Corps web site at

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:      Lennar Homes
                           Attn: Mr. Larry Gualco
                           1420 Rocky Ridge Drive, Suite 320
                           Roseville, California  95661

LOCATION: The approximately 423-acre project site is located in western El Dorado County approximately two miles south of U.S. Highway 50, approximately 0.25 miles to the west of Latrobe Road, and immediately north of Placerville Road, Latitude 38.6206°, Longitude -121.0685°, El Dorado Hills, El Dorado County, California, and can be seen on the CA-FOLSOM SE USGS Topographic Quadrangle (Figure 1).


The applicant is proposing to construct the Carson Creek Unit 2 Project (CCU2P) into an approximately 155 acres of 774-residential lots, an approximately 90 acres of industrial commercial land uses, an approximately 30-acre regional park and associated infrastructure improvements (roads, utilities, and drainage), and approximately 109 acres of wetland preserve and approximately 39 acres of open space.  The CCU2P is the second and final phase of the overall Carson Creek Specific Plan Development (CCSPD).

The CCSPD area was divided into two phases: Carson Creek Unit #1 Project (CCU1P), encompassing approximately 155 acres and CCU2P encompassing approximately 423 acres.  On May 31, 2016, the Corps issued a Nationwide Permit #32 for the proposed CCU1P.  

On August 31, 1994, the Corps authorized the discharge up to approximately 9.14 acres of fill material into waters of the U.S. under Nationwide Permit 26 (NWP 26) for the CCSPD (ID #199200105).  The permittee for the August 31, 1994, Section 404 authorization was Palisades Development, Inc., (PD) and the property has been owned or controlled by various entities in the following years. 

While the project site had been disturbed after receiving the required approvals and was periodically maintained and all impacts were mitigated, some of the site’s aquatic features have reverted before the project development occurred.  The Applicant acquired the property in the summer of 2013.  The construction of CCU1P began in 2014 and is now completed.  The Corps authorized impacts to waters of the U.S. for CCU1P under Nationwide Permit 32 on May 31, 2016, and at the recommendation of the Corps, the Applicant is seeking authorization to impact to waters of the U.S. within CCU2P under an Individual Permit. 

Approximately 25,523 cubic yards of clean fill will be placed in 7.91 acres of waters of the U.S. in order to accommodate construction of the proposed CCU2P using various types of construction equipment, including scrapers, bulldozers, and excavators. 

The applicant proposed to fill of 7.91 acres of waters of the U.S. including 3.26 acres of depressional seasonal wetlands, 0.09 acre of farmed wetland, 0.06 acre of vernal pool, 2.04 acres of riverine seasonal wetlands, 0.32 acre of ephemeral drainage, and 0.07 acre of intermittent drainage, 0.12 acre of perennial drainage, and 1.95 acre of drainage (Figure 2).  Impacts to waters of the U.S are summarized by individual feature classifications, below in Table 1

Table 1 — Jurisdictional Aquatic Features

Waters of the U.S.






Constructed Seasonal Wetland



Depressional Seasonal Wetland




Farmed Wetland



Vernal Pool



Riverine Seasonal Wetland




Ephemeral Drainage




Intermittent Drainage (Carson Creek)




Perennial Drainage











1 Acreages calculated to 6 significant digits and rounded to 2 significant digits.

Purpose and Need

Based on the available information, the overall project purpose is to construct a mixed-use residential, commercial and industrial development within the western portion of El Dorado County. 

The applicant believes there is a need to provide affordable housing to accommodate projected regional population growth in western El Dorado County, in conjunction with commercial development, in proximity to target employment growth areas, implementing the County's job/housing balance, transit, air quality, and open space General Plan goals and policies.

The attached drawings provide additional project details.



Environmental Setting.  There are approximately 35.17 acres of wetlands and drainages within the project area.

The project site is dominated by non-native annual grassland characterized by an assemblage of non-native grasses and forbs.  Dominant vegetation includes: soft brome, ripgut brome, wild oat, filaree, rose clover, and medusahead (Elymus caput-medusae).  Riparian habitat occurs within the beds and along the banks of the perennial drainage and along the intermittent drainage within the western portion of the Project Site.  Dominant vegetation within this biological community includes: narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia), broad-leaved cattail (Typha latifolia), nutsedge (Cyperus eragrostis), and spikerush (Eleocharis macrostachya), dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum), common rush (Juncus effusus), and Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon).  Additionally, scattered areas of willow (Salix sp.) occur along the perennial drainage.  Aquatic biological communities mapped within the Project Site include:  seasonal wetlands (constructed, depressional, farmed, and riverine), vernal pool, ephemeral drainage, intermittent drainage, and perennial drainage. 

Topography within the project site consists of rolling and moderately sloped areas.  The central portion of the site is located between two main drainages and generally slopes from northeast to southwest.  Elevations range from approximately 535 feet above mean sea level (MSL) in the northeast to 450 feet above MSL in the southwest.  Slopes on the project site range from less than one percent to 12 percent.  The project is regularly disturbed as a result of routine disking. 

The hydrologic regime on the project site predominantly consists of seasonal stormwater runoff and direct precipitation, which primarily falls between November and March.  Annual average precipitation ranges from 15 to 20 inches.  Carson Creek is an intermittent drainage on the western portion of the project site that conveys water generally from north to south through the site.  In addition, an unnamed perennial drainage on the eastern portion of the project site extends in a northeast to southwest direction.  A series of intermittent and ephemeral drainages and riverine seasonal wetlands extend from the south and southeastern portions of the site and flow northwestward.  All features continue southward offsite and eventually drain to Carson Creek.  Carson Creek is tributary to the Cosumnes River, which is ultimately tributary to the Sacramento River.

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.


Pursuant to the 1994 NWP 26 authorization, PD mitigated approximately 8.86 acres of constructed wetlands within the CCU2P (see Figure 3) for impacts to approximately 6.40 acres of seasonal wetlands, channels, and groundwater discharge areas.  In addition, impacts to approximately 2.74 acres of vernal pools were mitigated at the Salesian Property for the preservation of approximately 9.15 acres of vernal pool habitat pursuant to the October 29, 1997, amended US Fish and Wildlife Services’ Biological Opinion.

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 preserve approximately 27.26 acres of waters of the U.S., including: 8.865 acres of constructed seasonal wetlands, 4.126 acres of depressional seasonal wetlands, 3.414 acres of riverine seasonal wetlands, 0.031 acre of ephemeral drainage, 6.727 acres of intermittent drainages, and 4.096 acres of perennial drainages (Figure 2), within an approximately 109-acre Wetland Preserve.  Approximately 39 acres of open space would be conserved along the western project boundary. 

For all areas in which the applicant is unable to avoid or minimize impacts, the Corps would require compensatory mitigation.  As noted above, mitigation for project-related impacts consisting of the establishment of 8.86 acres of constructed wetlands.  A portion of that mitigation was used to offset impacts to reverted waters of the U.S. authorized in the NWP 32 for CCS1P.  Approximately 5.9 acres of created onsite riverine seasonal wetlands would remain available as mitigation applicable to impacts associated with development of the CCU2P.  Compensatory mitigation through the purchase of in-kind mitigation from a mitigation bank or in-lieu fee program would be used to offset impacts in excess of existing mitigation. 

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 applied for certification.

HISTORIC PROPERTIES:  Based on the available information, no known cultural resources listed or eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places were identified within the project's area of potential effect.  The Bureau of Reclamation initiated consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NEPA) of 1966 on December 22, 2006, and on January 10, 2007, the State Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO) concurred with the finding that the proposed undertaking would not affect any historic properties. 

ENDANGERED SPECIES:  The project is not likely to adversely affect any Federally-listed threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.  As stated above, the Corps has initiated consultation and received a Biological Opinion dated August 26, 1997, from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. 

As part of the 1994 NWP 26, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a Biological Opinion on August 26, 1997 (File No. 1-1-97-F-105).  This Biological Opinion, which was amended on October 29, 1997, to approved an off-site, non-bank compensation at two locations (the 160-acre Salesian Society Site and the 190-acre Dillard Road Site), was the final regulatory authorization required to commence work.  The “Salesian” property was completed the preservation of 9.15 acres of vernal pool habitat preservation habitat for the Carson Creek Project including a legal description for an area and an Conservation Easement was recorded in favor of The Nature Conservancy, as stipulated by the Biological Opinion.

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 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-1992-00105 must be submitted to the office listed below on or before August 20, 2015

Peck Ha, Project Manager
US Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District
Sacramento District, Regulatory Division
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 Peck Ha, 916-557-6617,

Attachments:  3 drawings

Figure 1.  Project Site and Vicinity
Figure 2.  Proposed Project
Figure 3.  Aquatic Resources Map