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. John David
D&H Properties, LLC
4121 East Highway 390
Panama City, Florida 32404
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Mill Bayou. The project site is located at west of Deerpoint Elementary School on Highway 2321 in Section 1, Township 3 South, Range 14 West, Bay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Panama City, travel north on 231 for approximately 5 miles. Turn left onto Highway 2321. Travel approximately 2.2 miles. The project location is on the left (west of Deerpoint Elementary).
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.25805°
Basic: Roadway access.
Overall: To construct a roadway to provide access to the proposed City of Lynn Haven Conservation Park located on North Bay in Lynn Haven, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a pine flatwoods and black needle rush marsh saltwater system. The area has been impacted by past silviculture activities and fire suppression allowing for the establishment of woody canopy and sub-canopy species. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of a roadway to the north, undeveloped to the west and south, and a school to the east.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a 1,900’ 4-lane roadway to provide access to the new City of Lynn Haven Conservation Park located on North Bay. The proposed impacts are 1.682 acres of direct impacts and 0.849 acre of secondary impact. The roadway would be constructed in 2 phases. Phase 1 would be a 2-lane roadway (north lanes) and Phase 2 would be an additional 2-lane roadway (south lanes) when necessary to accommodate 2 lanes of bi-directional traffic. Turbidity and erosion 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 impacts were minimized by siting the proposed roadway within the existing utility easement corridor that is routinely maintained (i.e. mowed) and by proposing box culverts with vertical headwalls in lieu of culverts with sloped mitered ends.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
To offset the wetland impacts, the applicant proposes to purchase 1.13 coastal/flatwood credits from Sweetwater 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 the West Indian manatee. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 have a minor adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in North Bay. 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 Panama City Permit 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (850)872-0231; or, by telephone at (850)763-0717, extension 27.
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 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.