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SAJ-2017-01131 (SP-RGH)

Posted: 11/1/2017

Expiration date: 11/21/2017


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:

APPLICANTS:

John Neal
Parrish Holdings, LLC.
5800 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34240
Jneal@nealcommunities.com

Chris Reeder
Reeder Energy
4925 Greenville Ave., Suite 1400
Dallas, Texas 75206
creeder@reederenergy.com

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Curiosity Creek. The project site is located at 12420 U.S. 301 North (SR 43), Parrish, Florida 34219.

Directions to the site are as follows: From Tampa head south on 1-75, take the Moccasin Wallow Road exit east and drive for approximately 5 miles due east and the project site is approximately 0.75 miles on the north side of the road.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:

(Bella Lago)
Latitude: 27.608318°
Longitude: -82.42606°

(Fort Hamer Road Extension)
Latitude: 27.600639°
Longitude: -82.435754°

PROJECT PURPOSE:
Basic: Residential Development and Transportation
Overall: Single Family Residential Development and Arterial Access Roads

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The existing conditions of upland and wetland plant communities were mapped in accordance with Florida Land Use Cover Forms and Classification System (FLUCFCS, Florida Department of Transportation 1999). Agricultural fields are found throughout the extent of the project. The existing structures in the vicinity of the proposed activity are primarily agricultural with associated roadways, fences and drainage infrastructure including storm culverts.

Bella Lago Upland Descriptions
Approximately (401.15 acres) acres of the Bella Lago property are considered upland habitat consisting of open land, fallow crops, pine-mesic oak, upland mixed and exotic hardwoods, and electric transmission lines.

    FLUCCS Code: 190 Open Land
    Approximately 5.17 acres of the uplands within the project site are characterized as open land. This disturbed area is located in the northeastern corner of     the parcel, includes low growing saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) with scattered occurrences of gallberry (Ilex glabra) and is currently used for grazing cattle.

    FLUCCS Code: 261 Fallow Crops
    Approximately 258.14 acres of the uplands within the project site are characterized as fallow crop land. The site historically was used to grow tomato row     crops. Vegetative species noted within the community type include bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), with scattered occurrences of natal grass          (Rhynchelytrum repens), and dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium). Currently, these areas are providing foraging habitat for cattle.

    FLUCCS Code: 414 Pine - Mesic Oak
    Approximately 94.35 acres of the area is characterized as pine and mesic oak, this habitat is located throughout the project area. This habitat contains a     canopy dominated by slash pine (Pinus elliottii) and live oak (Quercus virginiana). Subdominant trees include cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). The shrub     layer is composed of scattered saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and beauty berry (Callicarpa americana). The groundcover consists of panic grass (Panicum     spp.), and bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). This habitat type is commonly used by grazing cattle.

    FLUCCS Code: 420 Upland Hardwood Forests
    Approximately 7.67 acres of the area is characterized as upland hardwood forests, this habitat is located throughout the project area. This habitat contains a     canopy dominated by live oak (Quercus virginiana) laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia). Subdominant trees include cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). The shrub     layer is composed of scattered saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and beauty berry (Callicarpa americana).

    FLUCCS Code: 422 Brazilian Pepper
    Approximately 32.41 acres of Brazilian pepper (Schinus terenbinthifolius) is located throughout the project area. This FLUCCS community is covered 95%     by the nuisance, exotic species. This infested area is degraded and therefore provides minimal habitat value for wildlife nesting and roosting.

    FLUCCS Code: 832 Transmission Lines
    Approximately 3.41 acres of the uplands within the project site include the electric transmission lines and their associated structures.

Bella Lago Wetland and Other Surface Water Descriptions
Approximately 43.32 acres of the Bella Lago property are considered wetlands and other surface waters including agricultural upland cut ditches and a pond. There are 21 onsite wetlands and 20 upland cut agricultural ditches within the jurisdiction of the USACE, there is also 1 other surface water considered an upland cut agricultural pond. The total project acreage for onsite jurisdictional wetlands is 33.02 acres, 10.13 acres of surface waters ditches, and 0.17 acre for the cattle pond.

    FLUCCS Code: 510 Streams and Waterways (OSW 45, 47, 47A, 48, 49, 49A-B, 50, 50A-B, 51, 52, 53, 54, 54A-C, 56, and 60)
    Agricultural ditches comprise 10.13 acres of the property. These areas typically have similar vegetative components including smartweed (Polygonum     punctatum), ferns (Thelypteris and Blechnum spp.), and primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana) along the toe-of-slope. The open water portions contain     patches of West Indian marsh grass (Hymenachne amplexicaulis) and torpedo grass (Panicum repens). These nuisance/exotic species occupy up to     approximately 30-50% of these waterways. Additional vegetative species observed in these areas included few scattered Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana),     creeping red ludwigia (Ludwigia repens) and pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata).

    FLUCCS Code: 524 Reservoirs <10 acres (OSW 45B)
    This 0.17 acre cattle pond is typically open water with scattered primrose willow.

    FLUCCS Code: 618 Willow and Elderberry (W43)
    This 2.25 acre scrub shrub wetland is located in the northeastern corner of the parcel, which includes scattered occurrences of willow (Salix caroliniana),     elderberry (Sambucus nigra), and primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana).

    FLUCCS Code: 619 Exotic Wetland Hardwood (W15A, 15B, 15D, 16A, 16B, 24, 25, and 26)
    These 8 wetlands (4.03 acres) onsite are of low quality wetland and typically surrounded by fallow crops. These shrub wetlands are dominated by     nuisance/exotic plant species including Brazilian pepper and primrose willow. There are a few Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) and Virginia chain fern     (Woodwardia virginica) along the fringe.

    FLUCCS Code: 630 Wetland Forested Mixed (W17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28-A-B, 29, and 30)
    These 9 wetlands (17.68 acres) consist of a hydric hammock forested mixed habitat. The canopy is dominated by laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), cabbage     palm (Sabal palmetto), and red maple (Acer rubrum) with few wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) and some scattered slash pine (Pinus elliottii) and live oak     (Quercus virginiana). The habitat generally lacks a shrub layer although Brazilian pepper is present throughout and along the fringe. The groundcover in this     habitat is sparse and is composed of semi-hydrophilic species such as spadeleaf (Centella asiatica), and bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus).     Invasive/exotic species such as Brazilian pepper and primrose willow typically occupy less than 10% of this habitat.

    FLUCCS Code: 641 Freshwater Marsh (W23 and 31)
    These 2 wetlands (9.06 acres) typically have similar vegetative components including a zonation of pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), maidencane     (Panicum hemitomon), and peelbark St. John's wort (Hypericum fasciculatum), with a perimeter of primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana) and wax myrtle     (Myrica cerifera).

Fort Hamer Road Extension Upland Descriptions
Approximately 41.02 acres of the Fort Hamer Road Extension property are considered upland habitat consisting of open land, improved pastures, pine-mesic oak, Brazilian pepper, disturbed land, roads and highways, and electrical power transmission lines.

    FLUCCS Code: 190 Open Land
    Approximately 1.44 acres of the uplands within the project site are characterized as open land. The site has been historically and is currently used as     foraging habitat for cattle.

    FLUCCS Code: 211 Improved Pastures
    Approximately 23.4 acres of the uplands within the project site are characterized as open land. The site has been historically and is currently used as     foraging habitat for cattle.

    FLUCCS Code: 414 Pine - Mesic Oak
    Approximately 9.7 acres of the area is characterized as pine and mesic oak, this habitat is located in patches throughout the project. This habitat contains a     canopy dominated by slash pine (Pinus elliottii) and live oak (Quercus virginiana). Subdominant trees include cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). The shrub     layer is composed of scattered saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). The groundcover consists of panic grass (Panicum     spp.), and bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). This habitat type is commonly used by grazing cattle.

    FLUCCS Code: 422 Brazilian Pepper
    Approximately 0.34 acres the area is characterized as Brazilian pepper (Schinus terenbinthifolius), this habitat which is located in the central portion of the     property, and consists primarily of nuisance, exotics. The shrub layer is dominated by Brazilian pepper, with scattered occurrences of primrose willow     (Ludwigia peruviana). The groundcover is sparse and consists primarily of leaf litter, due to the dense scrub layer.

    FLUCCS Code: 740 Disturbed Land
    Approximately 2.55 acres of the uplands within the project site are characterized as disturbed lands. This area has been previously cleared or grubbed for     agricultural purposes.

    FLUCCS Code: 814 Roads and Highways
    Approximately 2.17 acres of the uplands within the project site include roads and highways (a.k.a. Moccasin Wallow Road) and their associated structures.

    FLUCCS Code: 832 Transmission Lines
    Approximately 1.42 acres of the uplands within the project site include the electric transmission lines and their associated structures.

Fort Hamer Road Extension Wetland and Other Surface Water Descriptions

Approximately 1.08 acres of the Fort Hamer Road Extension property are considered wetlands and other surface waters including agricultural upland cut ditches. There is 1 onsite wetland and 7 upland cut surface waters within the project area. The total project acreage for onsite jurisdictional wetlands is 0.499 acres and 0.572 acres of surface water agricultural ditches.

    FLUCCS Code: 510 Streams and Waterways (OSW 1-7)
    Agricultural ditches comprise 0.58 acres of the property. These areas typically have similar vegetative components including scattered torpedo grass     (Panicum repens), cattail (Typha spp.) and primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana).

    FLUCCS Code: 630 Wetland Forested Mixed (W38)
    Approximately 0.50 acres is a low quality wetland that is directly adjacent to Moccasin Wallow Road, has been ditched and drained, and is surrounded by     improved pasture. This wetland is a forested shrub wetland that is dominated by nuisance/exotic plant species including Brazilian pepper (Schinus     terenbinthifolius) and primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana) with scattered red maple (Acer rubrum).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicants seek authorization to construct a turning lane, roadway infrastructure, and a stormwater management system for the proposed 42.10 acre road project (Fort Hamer Road Extension), and to construct a 444.47 acre single family residential community (Bella Lago), with supporting infrastructure, and a stormwater management system. The road project (Fort Hamer Road Extension) will impact 0.499 acres of wetland for a deceleration lane along Moccasin Wallow Road, which is required for road safety and 0.572 acres of surface water agricultural ditches. The residential community (Bella Lago) will impact 10.13 acres of surface waters ditches, and 0.17 acre for the cattle pond. No impacts to wetlands are proposed for the Bella Lago project.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicants have provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment: There are no wetland impacts for the proposed residential development (Bella Lago). The applicant will only impact the upland cut agricultural ditches, which will require no mitigation. Designs for the road project (Fort Hamer Road Extension) avoided all impacts with the exception of an unavoidable 0.499-acre impact for a deceleration lane along Moccasin Wallow Road, which is required for road safety.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Mitigation for the proposed wetland impact will include the enhancement (i.e., removal of exotic species and cattle) of the forested wetland (W38 - 5.104 acres), which is within and adjacent to the project area.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. 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 those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood stork (Mycteria americana) and Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Potential impacts to the wood stork were evaluated using the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, dated September 2008 (Key). The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > MANLAA pursuant to the Key. Potential impacts to the eastern indigo snake were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Key (Key) dated 25 January 2010 and updated 13 August 2013. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > MANLAA pursuant to the Key. This determination is based on the applicant implementing the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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 not been verified by Corps personnel.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302 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, Ryan Hendren, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302; by electronic mail at Ryan.G.Hendren@usace.army.mil or, by telephone at 813-769-7075.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, 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 US Army Corps of Engineers (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. In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board. In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the 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.

___________ County Jacksonville District Manatee County permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE