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Regulatory Public Notice 23-41; LRN-2020-01222

USACE - Nashville District, Regulatory Division
Published Dec. 18, 2023
Expiration date: 1/17/2024

SUBJECT: Proposed permanent discharge of fill material to facilitate the construction of a multi-purpose development in Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee

TO ALL CONCERNED: The application described below has been submitted for a Department of the Army (DA) Permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

APPLICANT: Suncrest Real Estate & Land C/O Mike Koch
                        2701 E. Camelback Road #180
                        Phoenix, AZ 85016

LOCATION: The subject site is 140 acres located north of Bartons Creek Road and south of Hartman Drive, Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee (Latitude: 36.1717 Longitude: -86.3234).

Description: The applicant proposes to construct a 140-acre multi-purpose development. This development is proposed to include both residential and commercial components. The proposed residential development includes approximately 400 multi- family townhome lots, approximately 340 single family townhome lots, and approximately 360 multi-family condo lots. The proposed commercial development has been identified generally as rental space. Approximately 26.35 acres of glade wetlands are on the property and approximately 7,220 linear feet of streams. Proposed impacts include the permanent discharge of fill material into 2.78 acres of glade wetlands. No stream impacts have been identified. The applicant proposes to use blasting to assist with site grading, which will also occur within some glade wetlands located in the northern portion of the site. The geology of the site includes outcrops of Lebanon Limestone over Ridley Limestone in which sinkholes may be common and is susceptible to collapse. The site includes high quality calcareous wetlands/glade wetland and cedar glade habitat. The botanical survey submitted by the applicant of the 140-acre tract may exceed 450 species of vascular plants of which less than
20% are non-native.

Plans of the proposed work are attached to this notice. If you wish to view additional plans, please contact this office or visit our web site at: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Media/PublicNotices.aspx.

PURPOSE AND NEED: The applicant states the purpose of the proposed project is to provide a large-scale mixed-use development featuring a mix of residential properties for sale and lease, commercial and office space for lease in the Nashville Metropolitan Area to support the growing population.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION OF IMPACTS TO WATERS OF THE U.S.: Five offsite alternatives were provided by the applicant within 10 miles of the applicants preferred site, however four out of five alternative sites identified were determined to be unavailable (not for sale). Three onsite alternatives were provided by the applicant, showing a reduction of proposed fill of 9.93 acres of glade wetland and 255 linear feet of stream to fill of 2.78 acres of glade wetlands.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has submitted a conceptual plan for onsite permittee responsible mitigation (PRM). The submitted plan states that the goal of the PRM plan is to enhance on-site glade wetland habitat, which is identified as Exceptional Tennessee Waters (ETW) by the state of Tennessee. The conceptual plan states that mitigation activities will primarily consist of vegetation management (invasive species removal) and incremental mowing. The applicant is proposing a 3:1 credit ratio for mitigation activities described in the conceptual plan. Wetland bank credits and in lieu fee credits are available within the primary service area.

PUBLIC INTEREST REVIEW/CUMULATIVE EFFECTS: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts including cumulative impacts of the 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 work, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors, which may be relevant to the work, will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shore erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.

SOLICITATION OF COMMENTS: USACE 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. The Corps, Project Planning Branch and Regulatory Division, will consider any comments received prior to a final decision concerning the authorization of the project, i.e. the issuance, modification, or denial of the requested DA permit and Real Estate Instrument. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historical properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) 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.

HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: According to the applicant, there are no historically significant properties located within the vicinity of the site. The Corps invites responses to this public notice from American Indian Tribes or tribal governments; Federal, State, and local agencies; historical and archeological societies; and other parties likely to have knowledge of or concerns regarding historic properties and cultural significance at or near the project area. USACE would evaluate any substantive comments from this public notice to determine the potential of impacts to historic and cultural resources for Section 106 compliance. If the Corps determines that consultation is required, the Corps will consult with the Tennessee Historic Commission (SHPO) and American Indian Tribes in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as appropriate.

ENDANGERED/THREATENED SPECIES REVIEW: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires federal agencies to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) pursuant to Section 7 of ESA on all actions that may affect a species listed under the ESA as threatened or endangered or any designated critical habitat. A review of USFWS’s Information for Planning and Conservation (IpaC) website (http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/) identified the following five federally listed Threatened (T) and/or Endangered (E) species that may occur or could potentially be affected by the activities in this location:

 

Nine species of mussels were listed on the IPAC but were omitted from the list above due to the lack of perennial stream habitat on the proposed site. Additionally, the
 
Tricolored Bat (Permimyotis subflavus - Candidate Species), Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus – Candidate Species), and Whooping Crane (Grus americana - Experimental Population/Non-Essential) were listed on the IPAC.

A botanical survey was submitted by the applicant, which was conducted between March 20, 2023, and August 30, 2023. The survey identified approximately 90 acres of the 140-acre site as likely to contain species of conservation concern. Nine field surveys were conducted between March 20, 2023, and August 30, 2023.

The botanical survey confirmed the presence of federally listed Leafy Prairie-clover (Dalea foliosa) but did not confirm the full extent of the species presence. The surveyor confirmed that more individuals of this species could be present within the confirmed habitat.

The survey stated that Spring Creek Bladderpod (Lesquerella perforate) was not observed directly during the study, but there is documentation of the species within 1.5 miles of the site, and in the 2023 growing season, the species was documented to flower from mid-March to early April and could have been past flowering and overlooked during the first survey of identified habitat on April 2, 2023. The survey reported that the site was mowed during the survey season, around late June which may have impacted results. The survey stated that additional species may be present on site that are known to flower in the fall and were unable to be identified within the survey period.

Additionally, state listed species Carolina anemone (Anemone caroliniana), Fen Indian plantain (Arnoglossum plantagineum), Limestone fameflower (Phemeranthus calcaricus), Yellow sunnybells (Schoenolirion croceum) and Limestone bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana gatteringeri or Amsonia salicifolia) populations were identified in the submitted survey.

This public notice serves as coordination with the USFWS pursuant to Section 7 of the ESA of 1972 (as amended). Per this notification, we request comments from the USFWS concerning potential impacts to threatened and/or endangered species. After receipt of comments, USACE will evaluate potential effects on proposed and/or listed species and their designated critical habitat and initiate consultation with USFWS.

OTHER APPROVALS: Before a permit may be issued, a water quality certification must be provided by the State of Tennessee Department of the Environment and Conservation, pursuant to Section 401(a)(1) of the CWA (33 U.S.C. 1341), that applicable water quality standards will not be violated. Any other federal, state and/or local approvals may be required for the proposed work.

PUBLIC HEARING REQUESTS: Any person may request, in writing, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. Requests for public hearings shall state, with particularity, the reasons for holding a hearing.

COMMENT PERIOD: Written statements received by January 17, 2024, will become a part of the record and considered in the determination. Any response to this notice should reference the Corps Application No. LRN-2020-01222, and be directed to the Regulatory Division, Attn: Sammy Iskrzycki, at the above address, or at Samantha.N.Iskrzycki@usace.army.mil.


Chick Lock

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