U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Fuller Lake Permit Application

posted May 24, 2010, 8:16 PM by Tim Swezey   [ updated Nov 8, 2010, 1:17 PM ]
UPDATE: October 20, 2010
Received letter from Army Corps of Engineers stating that all concerns were addressed in permit submission and not action was required by the Corps.

Department of the Army permit application has been received for work in waters of the United States as described below;

Comments on the described work, with reference number (POA-2010-182), should reach this office no later than the expiration date of the Public Notice (May 30, 2010) to become part of the record and be considered in the decision.

Please contact:
  • Benjamin Soiseth
  • Phone: 907-357-4522
  • FAX: 907-357-4492
  • email: benjamin.n.soiseth@usace.army.mil

  • Mat-Su Field Office
    Regulatory Division of CEPOR-RD
    Century Plaza Building Suite 102
    1075 S. Check Street
    Wasilla, Alaska 99654

: Arcticorp, Mr. Joel Fuller, 701 West 58th Ave. Anchorage, Alaska 99518

AGENT: Restoration Science and Engineering, Mr. Neil Waggoner, 911 West 8th Ave. Suite 100, Anchorage, AK 99501

LOCATION: The project site is located within Section 34, T. 18 N., 2 W., Seward Meridian; USGS Quad Map Anchorage C-7; Latitude 61.6121 degrees N., Longitude 149.6067 degrees W.; Fuller Lake Heights Subdivision, near Wasilla, Alaska.

PURPOSE: The applicant's stated purpose is to construct home building sites and a road system within a platted subdivision. The project would provide new housing and economic benefit to the property owner. 

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to place clean gravel fill into 3.41 acres of wetlands for an access road, building pads and driveways, as part of the development of a residential subdivision. 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has stated that compensatory mitigation should not be necessary for the following reasons:
  • Of the total wetland area within the subdivision (15.05 acres), more then 75% would be avoided and would not be filled.
  • Wetland fill in the subdivision has been minimized to the extent practicable while retaining compliance with the borough standards and best engineering practices for lot and road designs.
  • No open water or seasonally-flooded wetlands would be filled except for recreational lake access in track A.
  • The subject wetlands do not have high functional capacity nor do they provide special values for human use. See page 32-35 of the 4.9MB PDF POA-2010-182 
ALTERNATIVES; Alternatives to the proposed work include a No Action alternative, a Full Build alternative, and a Partial Build alternative as described below.

Points from the MLCC Response

  • The wetlands will be divided into 10 sections
  • There are no ditch swales to act as buffer zones between building pads, parking lot, roadways and driveways
  • There are no provisions to mitigate stormwater runoff, Spring snowmelt pollution and sediment loads from road sanding
  • Wetlands will be used as snow storage
  • Sediment loads from road sanding and snow storage in smaller wetland segments could result in culvert failure resulting in damaged driveways and land owners unable to access their homes
  • No Action Alternative, whereby the Fuller Lake Heights subdivision would not be constructed. The land would remain undeveloped, eliminating the owner's economic benefit and creation of new residential lots for Mat-Su Borough residents.
  • Full Build Alternative, whereby the entire platted Fuller Lake Heights Subdivision would be constructed, including West Zehnder Road, North Fullers Place, West Monroe Circle, West Sallie Mae Circle and all driveways and building pads needed to create useable areas >8 feet above Ground Water Table (GWT). The advantages of this alternative included full realized economic benefit to the owner, and creation of maximum number of building sites for the growing Mat-Su Borough. 
  • Partial Build Alternative, whereby only Phase 1 of the project would be constructed. West Zehnder Road would stop at the edge of the wetland boundary, and West Sallie Mae Road would not be constructed. In addition, only 23 of the 39 scheduled lots would be developed. Tract A, the largest lot would remain undeveloped under this scenario. The applicant has rejected this alternative as not practicable because of the following reasons:
    • There would be no road access to 16 of the subdivision lots (Block 4, Phase II).
    • This alternative would result in a significant economic impact to the applicant because without all the lots being developed, the high costs of development would cancel out the benefit from selling the remaining available lots.
    • Recreational lake access would not be provided to 13 of the remaining 23 lots that do not border the lake making them less attractive to potential buyers. 
In summary, the alternatives to the proposed work are rejected because these: 1) would not provide access to all subdivision lots with usable building sites, 2) would incur significant financial impact to the applicant by rendering these inaccessible lots, and 3) would not provide recreational lake access to many of the lots making them less attractive to potential buyers. 

Track A: 8 Unit / 12 Bedroom Complex

Lot 9
170 foot driveway across wetlands

Lot 2
90 foot driveway across wetlands

Lot 8
20 foot driveway across wetlands

Lot 15 
70 foot driveway across wetlands

Lot 14
50 foot driveway across wetlands

Lot 13
20 foot driveway across wetlands

Entire Fuller Lake Development