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The Jacksonville District currently has five categories of public notice notification mailing lists. If you wish to receive email notifications when new public notices are added to this page, please send a request to Regulatory Webmaster.  Each category is described below. Be sure to specify which list(s) you want to be included on.

Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

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SAJ-2009-03443(SP-KAE)

Posted: 8/8/2017

Expiration date: 8/29/2017


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1344) as described below:

APPLICANT: Meritage Homes
                      1127 Gateway Boulevard
                         Boynton Beach, FL 33426

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:

Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 to exit 64 (10th Avenue). Turn left onto 10th Avenue North. Turn left onto North A Street, go approximately 1 mile, then turn left onto 22nd Avenue North. Turn left onto the first cross street, Vernon Street, and take it until it ends.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:

Latitude:     26.639721°
Longitude: -80.067426°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is to develop a single family residential community.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a single-family housing development in central Palm Beach County, FL.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is an approximately 12.84-acre site that contains jurisdictional Waters of the United States in the form of approximately 1.15 acres of wetlands in the southern portion, containing exotic hardwoods such as melaleuca and Brazilian pepper. The remainder of the site contains previously disturbed open land with multiple areas of fill piled throughout the site, while also containing areas where dumping has occurred.

Based on current site conditions, land cover classifications (Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCCS), Florida Department of Transportation, January 1999) are as follows:

Open Land (FLUCFCS 190 ±11.69 acres)
The majority of this site is made up of open land that is undeveloped within this urban area. This area was lacking structures but had been previously disturbed with multiple areas of fill piled throughout the site. Vegetation in these areas included plants typically found in disturbed areas, exotic plants, and landscaping plants. Representative species include castor bean (Ricinus communis), Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), cabbage palm (Sabal Palmetto), fingergrass (Eustachys spp.), aster (Aster dumosus), dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), beggar ticks (Bidens pilosa) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii).

Exotic Wetlands Hardwood (FLUCFCS 619 ±1.15 acres)
The southwestern portion of the site consists of hardwood wetlands made up of exotic vegetation, with numerous landscaping and native species present. Vegetation observed included Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolia), Australian pine, melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), oyster-plant (Tradescantia spathacea), areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), aloe (Aloe vera), royal palm (Roystonea regia), water primrose (Ludwigia peruviana), Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana), sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), leather fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium), Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), and royal fern (Osmunda regalis).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place approximately 4,000 cubic yards of fill material within 1.5 acres of Waters of the United States in association with the construction of a single family residential community.

The proposed development consists of 59 total lots. A retention pond will be created in the central portion of the site, and site access will be gained through the extension of Vernon Street into the proposed development. Additionally, the northwestern portion of
the site will contain a recreation area with pedestrian walkway.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION: The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:

The proposed development involves the construction of a single-family community containing 59 lots, as well as a retention pond, new roadways, and a recreation area in its northwestern portion. Although all of the wetlands on-site are proposed to be impacted, the ecological value of the wetlands is low due to disturbance and a history of dumping in the area, as well as the presence of the numerous invasive and ornamental plant species. Given the size and number of lots required within the proposed community, efforts to avoid wetland impacts were impractical. Greater long term ecological value will be provided by the proposed mitigation (see below) than the current value of the wetland to be impacted.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

The applicant has proposed to mitigate for unavoidable direct impacts associated with project development by purchasing credits from the Loxahatchee Mitigation Bank in Palm Beach County.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. One resource group, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, is located west of the Permit Area, and will not be impacted by this project. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and if applicable, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project will have no effect on the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), the site is adjacent to, but does not contain habitat for this species and it is not designated critical habitat for this species.

The Corps has determined the proposed project will have no effect on the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), as the site does not contain suitable habitat for this species and it is not designated critical habitat for this species.

The Corps has determined the proposed project is “Not Likely to Adversely Affect” the wood stork (Mycteria americana). The proposed activity is within the Core Foraging Area (CFA) of two (2) wood stork colonies; the project supports marginally Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in South Florida (dated May 18, 2010), the Corps determination sequence was A>B>C>E=NLAA. The project provides SFH compensation in accordance with the Clean Water Act Section 404(b)(1) guidelines and is not contrary to the habitat management guidelines. SFH compensation within the Core Foraging Area provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH; is not contrary to the Service’s Habitat Management Guidelines for The Wood Stork in the Southeast Regions and is in accordance with the CWA section 404(b)(1) guidelines.

The Corps has determined the proposed project is “Not Likely to Adversely Affect” Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi). Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Effect Determination Key (dated January 25, 2010; August 13, 2013 Addendum), the Corps determination sequence resulted in A>B>C>D>E=NLAA. Holes, cavities, and snake refugia will be inspected each morning before planned site manipulation of a particular area, and if occupied by an indigo snake, no work will commence until the snake has vacated the vicinity of proposed work; the permittee agrees to use the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake (dated August 12, 2013).

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.

NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program. The jurisdictional line has been verified by Corps personnel.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES:

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Blvd, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 within 21 days from the date of this notice.

The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.

QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Carolyn Farmer, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Blvd, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, 33410, by electronic mail at Kelly.Egan@usace.army.mil, or by telephone at (561) 472-3514.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with USFWS, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area.

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline 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. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

The Corps 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. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.

Jacksonville District Palm Beach County permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE