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: Mr. Randy Butler
Front Beach Investments, LLC
1716 East 9th Street
Lynn Haven, Florida 32444
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with West Bay. The project site is located on U.S. Highway 98 (Back Beach Road) in Section 32, Township 3 South, Range 15 West, Panama City Beach, Bay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Panama City, drive west on U.S. Highway 98 across Hathaway Bridge to Panama City Beach and continue west (keep right) on U.S. Highway 98 approximately 0.2 miles. The property is located on the north side of U.S. Highway 98, directly across from the Express Lane store and east and adjacent to the Gulf Power easement.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.18914º
Basic: Commercial development.
Overall: To construct commercial retail space on the east end of Panama City Beach, Bay County, Florida, in support of new development in the area.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a 4.86 acre freshwater palustrine system. The onsite vegetation consists of a mixed wetland hardwood
dominated by titi in the sub-canopy. Vegetation includes slash pine (Pinus elliotti), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), black titi (Cliftonia monophylla), and dahoon holly (Ilex cassine). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of commercial development to the west, a proposed multi-family residential development to the north and east, and roadway to the south.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to impact 3.98 acres of jurisdictional palustrine forested wetlands in order to construct a commercial development. Erosion and sedimentation controls are proposed.
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 project site is 250’ deep which is shallow for commercial properties with the amount of stormwater and parking that is typically required for commercial developments. To reduce impacts to the maximum extent possible, the project incorporated a shared access and stormwater management for each outparcel, shifted development to the southern property boundary to the maximum extent possible preserving the remaining wetlands adjacent to offsite wetlands that also have been preserved by the adjacent development. The discharge orifice of the stormwater management facility was set to an elevation consistent with the elevation of the adjacent wetlands so as not to adversely affect the hydro period of the wetlands. Erosion and sedimentation controls are proposed.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant is proposing to purchase 2.04 federal forested palustrine bank credits from Breakfast Point Mitigation Bank.
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 Telephus spurge (Euphorbia telephioides) and will have no effect on the red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 Panama City Permits Section, 1002 West 23rd Street, Suite 350, Panama City, Florida 32405 within 30 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, Mrs. Lisa S. Lovvorn, in writing at the Panama City Permits Section, 1002 West 23rd Street, Suite 350, Panama City, Florida 32405; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (850)872-0231; or, by telephone at (850)763-0717, extension 27.
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 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.