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: The City of Sunrise
c/o Timothy Welch, Utilities Director
10770 West Oakland Park Boulevard
Sunrise, FL 33351
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project site is located adjacent to the intersection of Pine Island Road and NW 50th Street in Section 17, Range 41, Township 49, Sunrise, Broward County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take Florida’s Turnpike South to Commercial Boulevard, Commercial Blvd west to Pine Island Rd, Pine Island Rd south to site. At NW 50th St, will be on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: To develop a mixed-use athletic complex with associated parking.
Overall: To develop a mixed-use athletic complex with associated parking in the City of Sunrise.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area is 16.5 acres. The wetland system consists of a freshwater system totaling 1.84 acres located in the southeastern portion of the site. The remaining 14.66 acres of the site is uplands. The onsite vegetation consists of nuisance exotic canopy species and groundcovers common to disturbed uplands and transitional habitats. The dominant non-native canopy species present onsite included Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto) and earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis). Shrubs, groundcovers and grasses observed onsite were common to disturbed uplands. Species observed included ceasar weed (Urena lobata), shoebutton ardisia (Ardisia elliptica), whitehead broom (Spermacoce verticillata), wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa), lantana (Lantana sp.), capeweed (Phyla nodiflora) and mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata). Wetland and transitional vegetation observed onsite consisted mainly of canopy species and groundcovers such as melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), swamp fern (Blechnum sp.), and pennywort (Centella asiatica). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of single and multi-family residential and commercial developments. The site is bordered by NW 50th Street to the south and N Pine Island Road to the east.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 1.5 acres (4,915 cubic yards) of wetlands for a mixed-use athletic complex, along with associated parking. The site also includes a wetland preservation and restoration to offset unavoidable impacts to the existing low quality wetlands.
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:
Due to the nature and location of the wetlands, complete avoidance is not feasible. Due to the previous platting of the subject site and development of adjacent sites, access to the parcel is limited to the southern and eastern property limits. Access through the southern and eastern boundary is limited to a right-turn in only, due to the existing width and medians of NW 50th Street and Pine Island Road, with no left-turn lane available for traffic moving east along NW 50th Street, nor north along Pine Island Road. The extreme eastern extents of the property are also encumbered by an existing right-turn lane right-of-way dedication. As such, with access limited to the south and east side of the site, impacts to the existing wetland are unavoidable. Due to the proposed construction of an athletic complex and required parking and traffic routing, all potential site plan options would result in the bifurcation of the wetland, resulting in a fragmented, isolated low quality wetland. Other site plan options, such as moving the lake to the center or the west end of the site, result in conditions that would constrain the required number of required parking spaces, limit the athletic fields and reduce the available area for vehicular traffic to the parking lots.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
Impacts are to be minimized through the enhancement of approximately 0.51 acres of the existing low-quality wetland. The wetland enhancement will also include a surrounding transitional buffer area within the delineated wetland boundary. The transitional buffer will be 15’ in width around the perimeter of the wetland enhancement area, and will be completed with a suitable muck planting substrate. 4’ of the buffer will be planted with desirable native wetland species such as pickerelweed (Pontedaria cordata), duck potato (Sagittaria lancifolia) and bulrush (Scirpus sp.). As currently aligned, the proposed wetland enhancement and buffer zone totals 0.51 acres within the delineated limits of the existing wetland onsite, representing avoidance to 28% of the existing wetlands onsite. To assess the quality of the existing wetlands and the proposed wetland enhancement, a UMAM analysis was conducted to compare the overall existing and proposed post-project function of each.
Overall, in addition to the proposed avoidance of wetland impacts, mitigation to offset the remaining unavoidable impacts is proposed through a credit purchase of 0.47 credits at the Everglades Mitigation Bank. This credit purchase also accounts for 10’ of additional buffer that will not able to be constructed due to limiting onsite conditions.
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 if applicable, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.
Species that may be present in the project area include the wood stork (Mycteria americana), Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi), and the Everglade snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus).
The project site is located within the Core Foraging Area of two wood stork colonies and impacts 1.50 acres of suitable foraging habitat. Based on completion of the 2010 Wood Stork Key (A-B-C-E), the project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the wood stork. The requirements of section 7 of the Act are fulfilled for the wood stork and no further action is required.
The project occurs within the range of the Eastern indigo snake. The project site does not impact more than 25 acres of xeric habitat, however a gopher tortoise survey was not submitted with the application and the site contains other refugia where a snake could be trapped, buried, or injured during construction. Based on completion of the 25 January 2010 Eastern Indigo Snake Key including the 13 August 2013 addendum (A-B-C-D), the project may affect the Eastern indigo snake. The Corps will request consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife on the determination for the Indigo snake pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The project will not affect the Everglade snail kite. The project site is located in the snail kite consultation area; however, suitable habitat is not present.
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: Water Quality Certification may be required from the South Florida Water Management District.
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 Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 within 15 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 Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (561)626-6971; or, by telephone at (561)472-3527.
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.