BACKGROUND: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in partnership with the Central Valley Flood Protection Board (CVFPB), and the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) are implementing the American River Common Features ‐ 2016 (ARCF‐16) levee improvement work in the greater Sacramento region. This major effort to protect lives, property and infrastructure began with seepage/stability work in 2019 and is estimated to continue into mid‐2024. Erosion construction along the Sacramento River East Levee (SREL) began in 2022 and is anticipated to be completed in 2026. As part of the SREL improvement project, Cross Levee Fences (CLF) in the Pocket area were removed over the last few years for construction and safety of USACE seepage/stability work.
CVFPB is the State regulatory agency that verifies flood control system construction, maintenance, and protection activities meet appropriate standards. CVFPB also regulates encroachments on the flood control system to ensure that they are not injurious to the adopted plan of flood control.
Many private properties in the Pocket Area have property rights up to the waterside levee toe and beyond. CVFPB has easements for flood control, not fee title ownership over several privately‐owned parcels. The purpose of the property rights held by CVFPB over these privately owned properties is solely to operate and maintain the flood control system and does not include any right of public access over these properties.
It is the City of Sacramento (City) pursuing a project called the “Sacramento River Parkway” to create a levee‐top public access trail within the Pocket Neighborhood. The City is required to—and is planning to—acquire the necessary rights of way for this project. More information about the City’s project is available at the following link:
Upon completion of segments of the SREL levee improvement project, some Pocket property owners applied for temporary CLFs to protect their private property. The temporary CLFs are authorized as minor alterations pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 23, Waters, Division 1, Article 3, Section 6(e), which allows the Executive Officer to waive the requirement to obtain a CVFPB permit for minor alterations that would not be injurious to the adopted plan of flood control. These temporary CLFs are considered minor alterations because of the method of construction, i.e., no excavation into the levee prism and are temporary. The authorizations for the temporary CLFs are subject to conditions and periodic review and renewal.
Before any construction of a permanent CLF can be initiated, CVFPB must grant a new permit. The public will have an opportunity to provide input before and during each hearing CVFPB holds to consider whether to approve a permit for a permanent CLF.