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: 207 Residential, LLC
Attn: Mr. Michael Danhour
4045 Post Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32205
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the San Sebastian River and McCullough Branch. The project site is located at 3225 State Route 207, in Sections 8, 9, 16 and 17, Township 8 South, Range 29 East, St. Augustine, St. Johns County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate-95 take Exit 311 and turn southwest towards Elkton. Proceed on State Route 207 until the intersection of Coquina Crossing Drive. The project site is to the north of State Route 207.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 29.818636°
Basic: The basic project purpose is the development of a residential subdivision.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the development of a residential subdivision in St. Johns County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The existing conditions within and adjacent to the project corridor are classified by the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS) as follows: Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS code 411), Pine/Mesic Oak (FLUCFCS code 414), Live Oak (FLUCFCS code 427), Upland Scrub, Pine Hardwood (FLUCFCS code 436), Inland Pond (FLUCFCS code 616), Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS code 630), Freshwater Marsh (FLUCFCS code 641), Disturbed Lands (FLUCFCS code 740), and Roads (FLUCFCS code 814).
FLUCFCS CODE NAME % of the Project Area Total Acres
411 Pine Flatwoods 28.72% 62.80
414 Mesic Pine/Oak 4.81% 10.52
427 Live Oak 4.55% 9.94
436 Scrub/Pine/Hardwood 8.20% 17.95
616 Inland Pond 0.15% 0.32
630 Mixed Wetland Forest 47.37% 103.60
641 Freshwater Marsh 0.25% 0.54
740 Disturbed Land 2.56% 5.59
814 Roads 3.39% 7.43
Total 100% 218.69 acres
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks a 5-year authorization to discharge clean fill material into 0.88-acre of jurisdictional wetlands that the applicant’s ecological agent has identified as within Federal Jurisdiction; and, 0.86-acre of wetlands that the applicant’s ecological agent has identified as not within Federal Jurisdiction in consideration of the Solid Waste Agency of northern Cook County vs. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 531 U.S. 159 (2001) (SWAMCC) Supreme Court decision. The work proposed would facilitate the establishment of a residential subdivision with the associate infrastructure and stormwater management ponds. Approximately, 60.41 acres of wetlands would remain post-development.
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 has been minimized to only impact jurisdictional wetlands for the construction of the required roadway connection to State Route 207. Fill impacts to non-jurisdictional wetlands are proposed for construction of the development.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant proposes onsite mitigation in the form of conservation easements and wetland enhancements. This includes the placement of 60 acres of the wetland slough, along with 2.9 acres of upland buffers, and an additional 4.21 acres of the upland xeric hammock into conservation and protected with conservation easements deeded to the St. Johns River Water Management District.
The Corps is aware of a historic property within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana): The project site is approximately 7.5 miles southwest of the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and 9 miles northwest of the Matanzas Marsh Wood Stork nesting colonies; and, within the Core Foraging Area of those colonies. Wood Storks prefer to forage on small fish, crayfish, and frogs in ponds and marshes with little or no canopy, but have been observed foraging in open areas within forested wetlands. In consideration of the information submitted and available to the Corps, the Corps utilized The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008, to determine potential effects upon this species. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-D-E-Not Likely to Adversely Affect.
Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi): Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) frequents several habitat types, including pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, high pine, dry prairie, tropical hardwood hammocks, edges of freshwater marshes, agricultural fields, coastal dunes, and human-altered habitats. Therefore, this species could utilize the area encompassed by the Endangered Species Act scope of analysis for this project. Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows are commonly utilized as refuge from winter cold and/or desiccating conditions in xeric habitats; and, hollowed root channels, hollow logs, or burrows of rodents, armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or land crabs (Cardisoma guanhumi) provide shelter in wetter habitats. A survey of the project site identified a total of 22 active and inactive gopher tortoise burrows on the overall property. In consideration of the potential presence of eastern indigo snake habitat, the Corps utilized The Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, August 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-D-E-may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, as the applicant has agreed to implement the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake, August 12, 2013. The FWS has indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the key for eastern indigo snakes; and, that no additional consultation is necessary.
The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.
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 in the associated waterways. 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. Corps personnel have not verified the jurisdictional line. The applicant’s ecological agent expressed an opinion that three separate wetlands (totaling 0.86-acre) near the southwest corner of the site is not within Federal jurisdiction in consideration of the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 531 U.S. 159 (2001) (SWANCC) Supreme Court decision. The Corps is currently evaluating the extent of Federal jurisdiction at the site.
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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019 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, Brad Carey, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (904) 232-2405.
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, aesthetics, 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.