July 11, 2017
Honorable Douglas W. Lamont
Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
441 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20314-1000
Col. Kirk E. Gibbs
Commander and District Engineer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District
915 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1101
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Dear Acting Secretary Lamont and Colonel Gibbs:
I am writing to express the support of Inland Action (www.inlandaction.com), a nonpartisan corporation of public spirited leaders who have joined together to be catalysts for the economic wellbeing of the Inland Empire since 1962, for the Section 7001 application titled, “Lytle and Cajon Creek Channel Improvements Project – Riverside Avenue Groins Project Modification Request.” The proposed project modification would Federally deauthorize five World War II era earthen groins known as the “Riverside Avenue Groins” in San Bernardino County (“County”) that were originally authorized by Congress and constructed consistent with plans on file with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”). The removal of the five groins would occur only after, and in conjunction with, the construction of a modern replacement structure. The County will not incur the expense of removing these five groins. A private sector developer will do it under plans approved by the City of Rialto (“City”) and subsequent to construction of a replacement revetment structure, which revetment will render the Riverside Avenue Groins no longer of use. The new revetment to be constructed as part of the Lytle Creek Ranch project will be built to be consistent with guidelines established by the San Bernardino County Flood Control District and would provide a higher level of flood protection than the original groins to be replaced.
For a number of years the County has been working cooperatively with the developers of a 2,500 acre master-planned, mixed-use residential and commercial development project in and near the City known as the Lytle Creek Ranch. The project will provide homes for over 8,000 families, as well as provide 850,000 square feet of commercial, office and industrial space. This project will provide important new economic opportunities for County residents and will generate significant new sources of revenue for the City. It is estimated that roughly 3,400 additional permanent jobs will be created by the project. It will also permanently conserve some 834 acres of conservation habitat open space, most of which will be permanently managed and monitored for the benefit of sensitive habitats and species.
One feature of the project will be the construction of a roughly 6-mile long revetment along the south bank of Lytle Creek that will be engineered and constructed to meet the current professional standards of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Corps, and the County Flood Control District. Construction of the revetment will render the Riverside Avenue Groins both obsolete and superfluous.
Recently, the Corps has indicated that the only avenue available to allow removal of the groins in conjunction with the construction of the project and its revetment may be through a Section 7001 project modification and a Congressional deauthorization of these five Riverside Avenue Groins through legislation. The Los Angeles District of the Corps has indicated that it has no objection to a Congressional deauthorization of the five groins to enable their removal in connection with the construction and completion of the project’s revetment, which will provide upgraded erosion and flood protection to this area of the County and City.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.
Carole Beswick, CEO