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Public Notice Notifications

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-2017-03031 (SP-CSH)

Posted: 12/8/2017

Expiration date: 12/22/2017


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: Homes by Towne of Florida, Inc
Attn: James Borris
1600 N Atlantic Avenue, Suite 201
Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Gates Creek in the Gates Creek Basin. The project site is located southeast of the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Blvd and SR-64 in Section 29 and 32, Township 34 South, Ranch 19 East, Manatee County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From UTC Mall Take I-75 North and take the Exit for FL-70 and take a right onto FL-64 East. The site will be to the right of FL-64 approximately 0.4 miles east of the intersection of FL-70 and FL-64.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: 
Latitude 27.480749°
Longitude -82.426813°

 

PROJECT PURPOSE:
Basic: Residential development
Overall: Construction of a single-family residential community development to support the growing population within the Lakewood Ranch area of Manatee County.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site encompasses 95.5 acres. The wetland system consists of a freshwater system. Onsite land uses consist of 63-acres of improved pasture, 15.18-acres of Hardwood Conifer Mix, 1.25-acres of stream and lake swamps and 16.07-acres of wetland forested mix. There are seven ditches on the project site and one additional upland cut pond in the south east corner of the project site. The surrounding land uses include residential/commercial developments.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a residential subdivision known as “Woodleaf Hammock”. The proposed project would impact 1.51-acres of surface waters.

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 site plan was developed with specific goals, including the consistency with all the conditions of the Manatee County Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan), which includes reduction and elimination of impacts to the greatest extent practicable. Surface water impacts were determined to be necessary and unavoidable due to the need to have a certain number of lots to ensure the project is economically feasible. The proposed impacts consist of filling upland cut surface waters that provide minimal wetland function. A total of 1.51 acres of other surface waters (OSW) are proposed to be filled and no wetlands will be impacted.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: There are no wetland impacts proposed. Impacts are limited to upland-cut ditches.

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 Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi), and the Wood stork (Mycteria Americana).

Using the August 13, 2013 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) programmatic key for the Indigo Snake, the project resulted in the following sequential determination: A (Project is not located in open water or salt marsh) > B (Permit will be conditioned for use of the USFWS standard protection measures for the Eastern indigo snake during site prep and construction) > C (There are no gopher tortoise burrows where a snake could be trapped, buried, or injured) resulting in “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” (MANLAA). A Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) Authorized Gopher Tortoise Agent with WRA conducted a 100% pedestrian transect survey of the project area and observed no signs indicating the presence of gopher tortoises. Therefore, the Corps determined the project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” the eastern indigo snake.

The subject property is located within the USFWS Consultation Area for the Florida scrub-jay. The project site does not contain suitable scrub-jay nesting or foraging habitat and were not observed on-site during the site inspection (April 15, 2017). If Florida Scrub-jays are discovered during land clearing activities appropriate measures will be taken to minimize impact on habitat, nesting, and foraging areas. The proposed project is “not likely to adversely affect” (NLAA) the Florida scrub-jay.

Based upon review of the Wood Stork Key for Central and North Peninsular Florida dated September 2008, the proposed project resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > E > “may affect, not likely to adversely affect”. This determination is based on the project not being located within 2,500 feet of an active colony site; impacts to suitable foraging habitat (SFH), project impacts to SFH are less than 0.5 acres, and habitat enhancements match the hydroperiod of the wetlands and ditches affected and provide higher foraging value than impacted ditches. Therefore the Corps has determined the project “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the wood stork. Based upon the Wood Stork Key no further coordination is required.

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 within 15 days from the date of this notice. For electronic mail (preferred) submit comments to Caitlin.S.Hoch@usace.army.mil. For standard mail submit comments to 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302. Please reference this permit number, SAJ- 2017-03031 (SP-CSH), on all submittals.

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, Caitlin Hoch, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at Caitlin.S.Hoch@usace.army.mil; by fax at (813)769-7061; or, by telephone at (813)769-7074.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat

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 of 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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.

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