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) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Centerline Capital Advisors
c/o Craig Perry, Managing Member
15481 SW 12TH Street, Ste. 309
Sunrise, FL 33326
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project site is located in waters of the United States on undeveloped land south of Midway Road and east of Christensen Road, Section 5, Township 36 South, Range 40 East, in St. Lucie County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: To access this site from U.S. Highway 1 in Fort Pierce, travel west on Midway Road (State Road 712) County, and south on Christensen Road. The site is located east of Christensen Road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic purpose of this project is to provide residential housing.
Overall: The overall purpose of this project is to provide residential housing in northern St. Lucie County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: Previous permit SAJ-2005-09762 (IP-AAZ) was issued on December 06, 2006 to construct a single family residential development that would impact approximately 1.69 acres of wetlands. The property is divided into two parcels, Parcel 1- 3403-502-0166-000-8 (3.97 acres) and Parcel 2-3403-502-0200-000-9 (50.25 acres) and contains approximately 54.22 acres, of which 3.03 acres are freshwater marsh wetlands and 51.93 acres are pine flatwoods. The parcel is divided by 3.10 acres consisting of the C-103 Canal, not included in the total 54.22 acres. The site is bordered by low-density residential development to the north, south, east, and west.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a 150-unit residential development referred to as Ravinia, in two (2) phases north and south. The property is divided into two parcels, Parcel 1- 3403-502-0166-000-8 (3.97 acres) and Parcel 2-3403-502-0200-000-9 (50.25 acres) and contains approximately 54.22 acres, of which 3.03 acres are freshwater marsh wetlands and 51.93 acres are pine flatwoods. The parcel is divided by 3.10 acres consisting of the C-103 Canal, not included in the total 54.22 acres. The project proposes to impact approximately 1.69 acres of freshwater marsh wetlands. The applicant proposes to conduct preservation, enhancement and restoration activities within 13.15 acres of upland preserves, wetlands, and buffer areas. The applicant will be providing 2.47 acres (1.91 acres upland and 0.56 acres wetland) of preserve areas on the north parcel and 11.83 acres (upland preserve) on the south parcel.
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 installation of residential buffers, wetland buffers, preserve areas, littoral shelves, upland lake buffers and restored wetlands. The applicant shall remove all exotic vegetation and replace it with native vegetation. The applicant will enhance the native vegetation through perpetual maintenance and the removal of exotic vegetation when necessary.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation for consideration if it is determined that issuance of a permit is appropriate for impacting approximately 1.69 acres of freshwater marsh: The applicant would preserve and enhance a total of 0.69-acres (0.56-acre wetland located on the north parcel and a 0.13 acre wetland on the south parcel) of wetlands and a total of 0.49 acres of associated upland buffers (0.35 acres and 0.14 acres, respectively). The applicant would also purchase credits from the Bluefield Ranch Mitigation Bank. The Corps is currently determining the loss of wetland function and value using the Wetland Rapid Assessment Process (WRAP).
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi), and the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus 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 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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens 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, Kelly Egan, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33411; by electronic mail at Kelly.Egan@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (561) 472-3514.
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.