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SAW-2017-01090

Posted: 2/4/2019

Expiration date: 3/4/2019


PUBLIC NOTICE

US Army Corps Of Engineers - Wilmington District

Issue Date: February 4, 2019

Comment Deadline: March 4, 2019

Corps Action ID Number: SAW-2017-01091

The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps or USACE) received an application from Mr. Steven DeFrancis of Kenjack Farms, LLC, (Kenjack Farms) seeking Department of the Army authorization for 1.9 acres of permanent wetland impacts (fill, grading, and conversion) associated with the construction of a 2.1 acre private amenity pond at 1749 Yellow Mountian Road in Cashiers, Jackson County, North Carolina.

Specific plans and location information are described below and shown on the attached plans. This Public Notice and all attached plans are also available on the Wilmington District Web Site at http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/RegulatoryPermitProgram.aspx

Applicant: Mr. Steven DeFrancis

Kenjack Farms, LLC

3424 Peachtree Road, NE

Atlanta, Georgia 30326

AGENT (if applicable): Mr. Ronnie Dilbeck

Creekstone, PLLC

132 Blueberry Lane

Franklin, North Carolina 28734

Authority

The Corps evaluates this application and decides whether to issue, conditionally issue, or deny the proposed work pursuant to applicable procedures of the following Statutory Authorities:

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1344)

 

Location

Directions to Site: From the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 and N.C. Highway 107 in Cashiers, proceed north (toward Cullowhee) on N.C. Highway 107 for 1.8 miles. Turn left onto North Norton Road (Road 1145) and proceed 1.9 miles. Take a slight left onto Norton Road (Road 1144) and proceed 1.6 miles. Turn right onto Yellow Mountian Road (Road 1149) and proceed for 1.9 miles. Turn right onto private driveway at 1749 Yellow Mountian Road.

Project Area (acres): 36.9

Nearest Town: Cashiers

Nearest Waterway: Unnamed Tributaries (UTs) Norton Creek

River Basin: Tuckasegee [Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 06010203]

Latitude and Longitude: 35.13593 N, 83.17418 W

Existing Site Conditions

Kenjack Farms owns an approximately 36.9 acre tract of land (PIN 7553-20-6376) at 1749 Yellow Mountian Road. The project site is primarily rural developed residential land with maintained open and forested areas. The property historically has been used for residential, agriculture, and silviculture activities for the past 50 years. The project site is surrounded by developed rural residential, agricultural, and undeveloped forested lands.

The project area is situated in the Blue Ridge physiographic province and in the Southern Crystalline Ridges and Mountains Ecoregion of North Carolina. Blue Ridge province is a mountainous zone that extends northeast-southwest from southern Pennsylvania to central Alabama. The physiography of the Jackson County consists of high, intermediate, and low mountains; floodplains; and low stream terraces. The site has sloping to rolling terrain with small valleys and an average elevation of approximately 4,100 feet above mean sea level (msl).

Waters at the project site are part of the Tennessee River system being in the Little Tennessee River Basin and within the Tuckasegee River watershed (HUC 06010203). UTs of Norton Creek and wetlands are located at the project site. Streams at the site generally drain to the northeast and east. UTs Norton Creek flow into a north branch of Norton Creek approximately 0.25 mile downstream of the site. As designated by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) – Division of Water Resources (DWR), streams at the site are classified as water supply III (WS-III), trout, and special designated waters. Special designated waters in the Little Tennessee Basin are subject to the actions specified in North Carolina statue 15A NCAC 2B .0224, the High Quality Waters (HQW) rule, in order to protect downstream waters designated as HQW.

As noted above, there are wetlands located within the project site. The wetlands at the site are associated with a large contiguous bog-fen wetland type with mostly emergent and shrub vegetation. This wetland is located in the east portion of the site in the lowest topographic area of the property. The west portion of this wetland area is being maintained as an open area. The proposed project site contains the following amounts of jurisdictional waters of the U.S. (WoUS):

 

Summary of Jurisdictional Waters

Aquatic Resource

Amount

Stream

750 lf

Wetland

3.84 ac

 

 

Two soil associations are present on the project site. The Plott-Edenyville-Chestnut-Cullasaja and Whiteside-Tuckasegee-Nikwasi associations are classified as soils that have a loamy surface layer and subsoil which formed in material weathered from high-grade metamorphic rocks, colluvium, or alluvium and can contain areas of rock outcrops. The soil units or series present on the site include, Edenyville-Chestnut complex, Plott fine sandy loam, Sylva-Whiteside complex, and Tuckasegee-Whiteside complex.

Several habitat types are present at the Kenjack Farms project site. The following is a summary of each of the habitat types identified on-site.

Mixed pine/hardwood forest habitat in low uplands. Hardwood trees dominate this habitat type. This habitat type has a dense understory and sparse herbaceous layer. Dominant canopy species include red maple (Acer rubrum), sweet birch (Betula lenta), mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa), tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), Fraser magnolia (Magnolia fraseri), sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), white pine (Pinus strobus), Chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica), and hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Dominant saplings/shrub species include pignut hickory (Carya glabra), chestnut (Castanea dentata), witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), American holly (Ilex opaca), buffalo nut (Pyrularia pubera), rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and blueberry (Vaccinium sp.). Dominant herbaceous species include fly poison (Amianthium muscitoxicum), spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata), strawberry (Fragaria sp.), rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera pubescens), little brown jug (Hexastylis arifolia), Indian cucumber root (Medeola virginiana), partridge berry (Mitchella repens), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Solomon Seal (Polygonatum biflorum), Christmas fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), New York fern (Thelypteris noveboracensis), poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum), and Halberdleaf violet (Viola hastata).

Maintained pasture habitat includes predominantly herbaceous vegetation and land that is mowed at regular intervals. Tree and shrub species present are individuals and are dominated by red maple, dogwood, tulip poplar, red oak (Quercus rubra), mountain laurel, and sassafras. Dominant herbaceous species include yarrow (Achillea millefolium), ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), virgin’s bower, field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), orchard grass (Dactylis sp.), fescue (Festuca sp.), strawberry, ground ivy, English ivy (Hedera helix), bluets (Houstonia

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sp.), yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus), oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), sorrel (Oxalis sp.), Virginia creeper, pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), lanceleaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata), broadleaf plantain (Plantago major), cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.), buttercup (Ranunculus sp.), yellow dock (Rumes crispus), sage (Salvia sp.), dandelion, red clover (Trifolium pretense), white clover (Trifolium repens), vetch (Vicia sp.), sweet white violet, and violet (Viola sp.).

Wetland and wetland fringe habitat at the project site is a bog-fen wetland approximately 3.84 acres in size located in the east portion of the site. Dominant saplings/shrubs include tag alder (Alnus serrulata), red maple, elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), and chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia). Dominant herbaceous species include swamp rose (Rosa palustris), jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), sedges (Carex sp.), cattails (Typha latifolia), and smooth rush (Juncus effusus).

Freshwater stream habitat include the streambeds and banks of UTs Norton Creek. These streams vary from 2 to 4 feet wide. Permanently rooted aquatic plants can be present in the stream bed of the upper reaches, but are practically non-existent in the stream bed of the lower reaches. The stream bed substrate is predominantly sand and gravel, with some cobble, and few boulder. The wetland and wetland fringe habitat is predominant adjacent to stream channels. Stream banks are dominated by shrub species.

Terrestrial communities at the project site are comprised of forested lands with maintained open habitats that may support a diverse number of wildlife species. Representative mammal, bird, reptile, and amphibian species commonly occurring in the habitats noted above is listed in the flowing paragraph. Information on these species that typically use the habitats at the project site was obtained from relevant literature, mainly the Biodiversity of the Southeastern United States, Upland Terrestrial Communities (Martin et al. 1993).

Mammal species that commonly occur in these habitats include eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus); gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis); eastern chipmunk (Tamis striatus), southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans), various vole, rat, and mice species; raccoon (Procyon lotor); Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana); white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginiana), and black bear (Ursus americanus). Bird species that commonly use these habitats include indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea), prairie warbler (Dendroica discolor), northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), field sparrow (Spizella pusilla), rufous-sided towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceous), scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea), blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata), and Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis). Predatory birds may include several hawk and owl species and turkey vulture (Cathartes aura). Reptile and amphibian species that may use the terrestrial community include copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), eastern corn snake (Pantherophis guttatus), eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina), eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus), five-lined skink (Plestiodon fasciatus), spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer), timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), and American bull frog (Rana catesbeiana). The dominant species of salamander in these habitats are dusky salamanders (Desmognathus spp.).An evaluation of records maintained by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NHP) involved a review of the FWS list of protected species in Jackson County and the NHP Element Occurrence Data on which NHP identifies current and historic occurrences of listed species for a specific locale. The FWS lists 10 species as occurring in Jackson County that are subject to Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 consultation (see table below).

 

Common Name

Scientific Name

Federal Status

Bog turtle

Glyptemys muhlenbergii

T (S/A)

Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel

Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus

E

Gray bat

Myotis grisescens

E

Indiana Bat

Myotis sodalis

E

Northern Long-Eared Bat (NLEB)

Myotis septentrionalis

T

Appalachian elktoe

Alasmidonta raveneliana

E

Rusty-patched bumble bee

Bombus affinis

E

Spruce-Fir Moss Spider

Microhexura montivaga

E

Small Whorled Pogonia

Isotria medeoloides

T

Swamp Pink

Helonias bullata

T

Rock Gnome Lichen

Gymnoderma lineare

E

 

 

Review of the FWS’s NLEB consultation area map for Jackson County indicated the site is not in a HUC identified as having known occurrences of hibernation or maternity sites. The applicant will coordinate the pond construction efforts with the FWS Asheville Field office to comply with the 4(d) rule and/or the Standard Local Operating Procedures for Endangered Species Act Compliance for the NLEB. Percussive activities may be used when excavating for the pond and pond construction will involve remove of trees.

The NHP reviewed the area encompassed by the project site and a 1-mile radius of the site. No known element occurrences of species are documented within this review area. No federally threatened or endangered species are documented at the site or within a 1-mile radius of the project site. The applicant has not conducted a habitat survey and protected species survey of the proposed pond site and work areas to determine the potential for occurrences of animal and plant species listed as endangered or threatened by current federal regulations.

A review of the National Park Service National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) GIS Public Dataset and the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) HPOWEB GIS Web Service indicted no sites/areas on the study list for the NRHP within 1 mile of the Kenjack Farm site.

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Applicant’s Stated Purpose

The purpose of the project is to build a 2.1 acre pond on private property for the enjoyment of the property owner.

Project Description

The project includes a proposed 2.1 acre pond on private property. The proposed pond is situated within 3.84 acres of existing wetland, which was impacted by a previous owner. Approximately 0.92 acres of the wetland were previously excavated and the applicant maintains a small open area of the wetland by mowing. The proposed pond is to impact approximately 1.9 acres of the existing wetland. The remaining 0.2 acres of proposed pond is outside of the wetland.

The proposed pond is to be contained by an earthen dam/berm with a ten (10) foot wide top and have an outfall structure located in the northeastern portion of the dam which would discharge into a UT of Norton Creek. A dock in the southeastern corner of the pond is also proposed. The earthen dam, outfall structure, final pond construction, and excavation quantities is dependent on obtaining the necessary permits to move forward requiring more detailed designs.

The proposed pond is approximately 360 feet in length, and 300 feet and 130 feet wide in the widest and narrowest areas, respectively. The pond bottom it to have a 2:1 slope and be approximately 12 feet in depth. The pond is to recharge naturally via rainfall and groundwater. The surrounding UTs are to remain in-tact and undisturbed. Double row silt fencing will be utilized to protect the portion of wetland that are to remain undisturbed.

The pond is to be excavated with a backhoe. Excavated material will be dewatered on-site in a stockpiled area, contained by double-rowed silt fence, and turned periodically. Once dry, the material will be disposed of on-site on a flat upland area. Erosion control and water quality protection will be implemented through the use of silt fence. The location of the dewatering area is west of the proposed pond. The excavated area, during pond construction, shall also utilize double-row silt fencing to prevent turbid water from entering the remaining wetlands and UTs. The proposed earthen dam/berm shall be constructed such that the soil is stabilized as quickly as possible following construction. Any additional erosion control measures and techniques may be implemented during detailed design to ensure the remaining wetlands and UTs are protected in accordance with all local, state, and federal laws.

Material suitable for fill in WoUS is proposed to consist of material determined acceptable based on design criteria and will not include any trash, debris, car bodies, asphalt, etc. The fill material used on site is to be clear and free of chemical contamination, and free of toxic pollutants in toxic amounts.

The applicant understands that any construction in jurisdictional streams and wetlands at the site would constitute a jurisdictional impact that is subject to permitting by the Corps and the DWR.

Summary of Proposed Impacts to Jurisdictional Waters

 

Impact

Aquatic Resource

Type of Impact

Amount

Wetland Impacts

Pond

Wetland

Permanent

1.9 ac

TOTAL

1.9 ac

 

Avoidance and Minimization

The applicant provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment. Protection of the surrounding tributaries and wetlands is minimized by leaving a 1.94 acre buffer of existing wetlands undisturbed. Additionally, the three surrounding UTs of Norton Creek, also remain undisturbed due to the 1.94 acre wetland buffer and are not proposed to be impacted by construction activities. A summary of the avoidance and minimization is as follows:

Aquatic Resources

On-Site Totals

Proposed Impacts

Percent Avoided and Minimized

Stream

750 lf

0 lf

100%

Wetland

3.84 ac

1.9 ac

51%

 

 

Impact

Aquatic Resource

Type of Impact

Amount

Wetland Impacts

Pond

Wetland

Permanent

1.9 ac

TOTAL

1.9 ac