US Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District

Public Notices

NWW-1994-0202770

Published July 6, 2017
Expiration date: 8/7/2017

Interested parties are hereby notified that an application has been received to modify a Department of the Army permit, NWW-1994-202770, issued on June 29, 2017, for certain additional work in waters of the United States, including wetlands, as described below:

APPLICANT: Mr. Dan Scott, Shore Lodge Whitetail, LLC, 501 West Lake Street, McCall, Idaho 83638, Telephone Number (208) 634-2244, E-Mail: dscott@shorelodge.com

AGENT: Mr. Brian J. Schrage, P.E., Crestline Engineers, Inc., PO Box 2330, McCall, Idaho 83638, E-mail: bschrage@crestline-eng.com  

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PROJECT MANAGER: Mr. Eric M. Gerke, Telephone: (208) 433-4462, E-mail: eric.m.gerke@usace.army.mil

PURPOSE: To construct recreational cabins for the public to pursue outdoor activities, in the vicinity of Payette Lake.

WATERWAY: Unnamed tributary to the North Fork Payette River, including adjacent wetlands

LOCATION: The proposed project would be located in wetlands adjacent to an unnamed tributary to the North Fork Payette River in the vicinity of State Highway 55 off Boydstun Street within Section 7, Township 18 North, Range 3 East, near latitude 44.91027º N, longitude -116.1270º W, and latitude 44.9141 N, longitude -116.1250 in the community of McCall, Valley County, Idaho (refer to Drawing Sheet 1 of 5).

DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Area No. 1 as stated above is further defined as located on Whitetail Drive, 0.25-miles south of State Highway 55 off of Boydstun Street. Area No. 2 is further defined as located near the northeast corner of State Highway 55 and Boydstun Street.

AUTHORITY: This permit will be issued or denied under the authority of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344). A Department of the Army permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands.

WORK: Discharge approximately 2,700 cubic yards of native fill material (rock, dirt, gravel) permanently filling 0.84 acres of wetlands (0.66 acres of scrub-shrub and 0.18 acres of emergent wetlands) for the construction of 23 cottages and attendant features, e.g. road and utility lines. Specifically, the construction of the greeting house/entrance gate on Whitetail Drive will entail widening of a portion of the existing roadway and will include the placement of 50 cubic yards of native fill material in about 0.015 acres of existing wetlands on the side of the road and about 300 cubic yards on the south side of the road in about 0.10 acres of existing wetlands (refer to Drawing 4 of 5) and 2) construction of one of the proposed 23 cottages, portions of the asphalt road and driveways will include the placement of about 580 cubic yards of native fill material in about 0.18 acres of wetlands south of the existing golf cart path and about 1,770 cubic yards of native fill material in about 0.55 acres of existing wetlands north of the existing golf cart path (refer to Drawing 3 of 5).

Fill with temporary wetland impacts includes trenching two sewer crossings, an estimated total of 0.04 acres of wetland impacts, and a single, domestic water line crossing, an estimated 0.03 acres of wetland impacts.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The Greeting House planned in Area 1 will be constructed on an existing roadway prism in Area 1 in uplands, however, road widening activities to accommodate the “Greeting House/Security Gate” will impact wetlands (refer to Drawings 1 of 5, and 4 of 5).

In Area 2, 22 of the 23 recreational cottages, including driveways and front lawns proposed will be constructed in uplands - an existing golf course. An existing golf course pathway will also be repaired, which is located in uplands (refer to Area 2 on Sheet 4 of 5).

CONSTRUCTION PERIOD: Applicant proposes to start construction in the summer of 2017 and end by December 31, 2018. The permit would authorize construction for a period of three (3) years.

PROPOSED MITIGATION: The applicant proposes the following mitigation measures to avoid, minimize, and compensate for impacts to Waters of the United States from activities involving discharges of dredged or fill material. The Applicant states that avoidance measures included: 1) during of the road widening aspect of the project for the greeting house/entry gate, the proposed improvements were shifted as far to the north as possible to minimize impacts to wetlands on the south side of Whitetail Drive. (refer to Drawing Sheet 3 of 5) and 2) during the layout and design phase for the planned cottages, asphalt road and driveways, various alternative zoning, density, and layout configurations were evaluated and optimized including the reduction in building density, elimination of one building density, reduction, and the relocation of other structures to minimize wetlands impacts (refer to Drawing Sheet 4 of 5).

Avoidance measures resulted in a reduction from a proposed initial design of wetland impact of 1.01 acres to the present proposed wetland impact of 0.84 acres or a 16% reduction of wetland impacts.

To compensate for the 0.84 acres of permanent impacts from developmental fill, the Applicant has prepared a “Conceptual Wetland Mitigation Plan.” The mitigation site is located within the “McCall Area of Impact” west of the City of McCall within Section 7, Township 18 North, Range 3 East. The proposed mitigation consists of enhancing an estimated 20-acre emergent wetland complex, which exists on the 783-acre parcel of property (refer to the Conceptual Mitigation Plan). The mitigation work plan is to enhance the emergent wetlands by seeding native showy and thinleaf milkweed. The mitigation plan includes creating scrub-shrub wetland habitat by planting native shrubs surrounding “upland forested islands” within the emergent wetland complex.

The goal of the wetland mitigation is to enhance songbird, pollinator, elk and mule deer habitat. The wetland mitigation site will be protected from any future development with a legal conservation easement. The Applicant and the Army Corps of Engineers are currently coordinating on specific wetland mitigation ratios employing the Montana Method; and, site-specific mitigation locations within this large wetland complex. The “Conceptual Mitigation Plan” is attached to this public notice.

OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS AND DA PERMITS ISSUED TO APPLICANT:
Other DA authorizations issued to Whitetail, LLC associated with the initial development include:

  • Wetland Delineation, NWW No. 940202770, October 18, 1994
  • Individual Permit, NWW No. 940202770, Issued July 25, 1997
  • Individual Permit Modification, NWW No. 940202770, Issued July 6, 2005

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: This notice will also serve as a Public Notice that the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ) is evaluating whether to certify that the discharge of dredge and/or fill material proposed for this project will not violate existing water quality standards. A Department of the Army permit will not be issued until water quality certification has been issued or waived by the IDEQ, as required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. If water quality certification is not issued, waived or denied within sixty (60) days of this public notice date, and an extension of this period is not requested by and granted to the IDEQ, certification will be considered waived. Additionally, within thirty (30) days of this Public Notice, any person may provide written comments to the IDEQ, as request in writing that IDEQ, provide them notice of their preliminary 401 Certification decision.

Comments concerning Water Quality Certification for this project should be mailed to:

Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
Boise Regional Office
1445 North Orchard Street
Boise, Idaho 83706

AQUATIC RESOURCE DESCRIPTION: The project area is characterized as an urban residential/commercial area in the community of McCall, Idaho. Shores Lodge, Whitetail, LLC is one of the largest parcels of land in the community of McCall, Idaho. The parcel of property is about 783 acres in size and includes 423 acres of upper slope woodlands, 160 acres of forested rolling hills, 200 acres of meadowland, and an estimated 50 acres of wetlands across four (4) drainages. The development currently consists of a golf course and gated housing community.

The unnamed tributary to the North Fork Payette River is an intermittent waterway. The intermittent drainage headwaters are west of Warren Wagon Road. It is best characterized as a severally-altered linear waterway in the upper reaches, which was altered by past land development activities. In Area 2, the intermittent drainage gradient is very shallow and water levels are affected by roadway runoff of State Highway 55.

The unnamed drainage flows under State Highway 55 by way of culvert, where it flows into a golf course pond, named Douglas Pond. In Area 1, the level of Douglas Pond is fixed by the outlet culvert located along Whitetail Drive (refer to Drawing Sheets 3 of 3). From the outlet of Douglas Pond, the water flows into another man-made impoundment, Rio Vista Pond, which has an outlet culvert with a fixed elevation that discharges flows. From the outlet culvert of Rio Vista Pond, flows eventually discharge directly into the North Fork of the Payette River. The North Fork of the Payette River merges with the South Fork Payette, which forms the main stem Payette River. The Payette River flows into the Snake River, below River Mile 445.5, which is considered a traditional navigable water.

The wetlands in the project area are mostly emergent and scrub-shrub wetlands, with a small pocket of forested wetlands. These wetlands are associated with linear drainage patterns altered by man that are considered intermittent. The unnamed drainage is located in an urban residential/commercial setting.

ANTICIPATED IMPACTS ON AQUATIC ENVIRONMENT:
The project would result in the permanent fill of 0.84 acres of wetlands (0.66 acres of scrub-shrub wetlands and 0.18 acres of emergent wetlands). The impacts are centered on road widening and construction, and a single, cabin building envelope. Sewer and water lines in Areas 1 and 2 requires trenching into the wetlands. After lines are installed into the trench locations, dredged material (native soil) will be placed back into the trench and the original wetland sod layer will be placed on top of the native soil, to promote rapid revegetation of the area (refer to Area 1 and 2 on Drawing Sheets 3 of 5, and 4 of 5).

CULTURAL RESOURCES: Coordination is currently being conducted with the office of the Idaho State Historic Preservation Officer to determine if this activity will affect a site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or a site that may be eligible for listing on the Register. We are also coordinating with the appropriate Tribal entity or the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices for the Shoshone Bannock and Nez Perce Tribes, to determine if there are any tribal historic or cultural interests within the project area.

TRIBAL TREATY RIGHTS and INTERESTS: Federal agencies acknowledge the federal trust responsibility arising from treaties, statues, executive orders and the historical relations between the United States and American Indian Tribes. The federal government has a unique trust relationship with federally recognized American Indian Tribes, including the Shoshone Bannock and Nez Perce Tribes. The Corps has a responsibility and obligation to consider and consult on potential effects to Tribal rights, uses and interests. The Corps further recognizes there may be a need for additional and on-going consultation.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: No listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats are known to exist in the project area. Coordination is currently being conducted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS/NOAA Fisheries Service) to determine if the activity will have any effect on species designated as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, or their critical habitat, under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (87 Stat. 844).

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service on all actions or proposed actions, permitted, funded or undertaken by the agency that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). No EFH species are known to use the project area. Preliminarily, we have determined the described activity would have no effect on EFH.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT: Preliminary review indicates the proposed activities will not require preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement. Comments provided will be considered in preparation of an Environmental Assessment.

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed activity on the public interest. This 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 proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.

All factors which may be relevant to the proposal 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. In addition, our evaluation will include application of the EPA Guidelines (40 CFR 230) as required by Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act.

CONSIDERATION OF PUBLIC COMMENTS: The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the general public; Federal, State and local agencies and officials, Tribal entities 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 of Engineers 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 the 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.

PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this proposed activity. Requests for a public hearing shall state specific reasons for holding a public hearing. A request may be denied if substantive reasons for holding a hearing are not provided or if there is otherwise no valid interest to be served.

COMMENT & REVIEW PERIOD: Interested parties are invited to provide comments on the proposed activity, which will become a part of the record and will be considered in the final decision.

Please mail all comments to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Walla Walla District
Attn: Mr. Eric M. Gerke
Boise Regulatory Office
720 Park Boulevard, Suite 245
Boise, Idaho 83712-7757

Or email: eric.m.gerke@usace.army.mil

Comments should be received no later than the comment due date of August 7, 2017, as indicated on this notice, to receive consideration. 

Kelly J. Urbanek
Chief, Regulatory Division
Walla Walla District

 

If interested parties wish to view plans, drawings, and/or maps associated with the proposed project and Public Notice, please email the Project Manager with your request.

 

 

 


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