Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

SAJ-2004-09527 (SP-MRE)

Published May 22, 2017
Expiration date: 6/12/2017
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:  Edge Properties LLC
                       7 Florida Park Drive
                       Palm Coast, Florida 32137

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) hydrologically connected to Graham Swamp. The project site is located north of State Road 100 and west of Colbert Lane in Sections 10 and 11, Township 12 South, Range 31 East, Flagler Beach, Flagler County, Florida.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:  Latitude 29.4786°
                                                                          Longitude -81.1604°.

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is the establishment of a commercial complex serving west Flagler Beach.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. The project site is approximately 49.7 acres in size. The site encompasses four soils identified by the Soil Survey of Flagler County, Florida. Soil units mapped on the site are Hicoria (8), Placid (12), Immokalee fine sand (13), and Pomona (40). Soil classes mapped on the parcel range from poorly to very poorly drained.

2. The site encompasses six ecosystems identified by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS). These systems are pine flatwoods (FLUCFCS 411, 28.8 acres), wet pine flatwoods (FLUCFCS 411W, 0.7 acre), live oak (FLUCFCS 427, 1.3 acres), stream and lake swamps (FLUCFCS 615, 14.7 acres), inland ponds and sloughs (FLUCFCS 616, 2.3 acres), and freshwater marsh (FLUCFCS 641, 1.9 acres).

3. Approximately 60 percent (30.1 acres) of the project site is uplands. The pine flatwoods areas show some evidence of disturbance and most of the pine flatwoods have been affected by historic silviculture activity. The most recent harvest occurred in 2015. Slash pine (Pinus elliottii), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), gallberry (Ilex glabra), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), and witchgrasses (Dichanthelium spp.) dominate the pine flatwoods communities. Live oak (Quercus virginiana), sabal palm (Sabal palmetto), saw palmetto, and grapevine (Vitus spp.) dominate the live oak communities.

4. Slash pine, saw palmetto, gallberry, wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), and Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), with a substrate of hydric soils, are found within the wet pine flatwoods communities. Portions of these communities have been affected by historic silviculture activity. Red maple (Acer rubrum), black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), slash pine, and saw palmetto dominate the large central stream and lake swamp system. Silviculture, ditching, and the establishment of trail roads has altered the site hydrology (surface flow) and adversely affected this large system. Historically, this particular community probably dominated more of the site. The site also encompasses three small wetlands, best classified as inland ponds and sloughs. These areas are generally shallow and support vegetation including pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), arrowhead (Sagittaria spp.), bladderwort (Utricularia spp.), and frog’s bit (Limnobium spongia).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks re-authorization to discharge fill material over a total of 8.34 acres of wetlands. The applicant previously garnered authorization to implement the project; however, due to a general economic decline, the applicant did not initiate the work authorized. The applicant intends to pursue implementation of the project; and, in consideration of potential delays in the commencement of work, has requested a 10-year permit.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant previously investigated the use of five other sites that could potentially address the overall project purpose. Three of the available sites were too small to support the project; one of the available sites encompassed a higher percentage of wetlands, which would generate additional impacts to wetlands to accommodate the proposed facilities; and, the final site investigated was not available for purchase. The applicant initially proposed additional work affecting wetlands; however, reduced the scope of the project to reduce the adverse effects to the onsite systems. The applicant previously garnered Department of the Army authorization for the project. However, due to the decline in the national economy, the applicant did not implement the authorized work.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – As compensatory mitigation, in conjunction with the previous authorization, the applicant purchased 7.18 Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure (WRAP) credits from the Farmton 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:

Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens): The project site is approximately 2.4 miles from the nearest identified nest or cluster location for Florida Scrub Jay; and, within the consultation area identified by the Corps and the FWS for this species. Therefore, this species may utilize the project site. There is no designated critical habitat for the Florida Scrub Jay listed in the federal register (52 FR 20715-20719). However, information from the FWS indicates that the Florida Scrub Jay has extremely specific habitat requirements. It is endemic to peninsular Florida’s ancient dune ecosystem or scrubs, which occur on well drained to excessively well drained sandy soils. Relict oak-dominated scrub, or xeric oak scrub, is essential habitat to the Florida Scrub Jay. Optimal habitat incorporates four species of stunted, low growing oaks [sand live oak (Quercus geminata), Chapman oak (Quercus chapmanii), myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia), and scrub oak (Quercus inopina)] that are 1-3 meters high, interspersed with 10 to 50 percent non-vegetated sandy openings, with a sand pine (Pinus clausa) canopy of less than 20 percent. Therefore, Florida Scrub Jay habitat is absent from the project site. Potential habitat is located approximately 0.3 miles east of the project site. In consideration of this information, it is likely that this species only opportunistically forages within forested areas in the vicinity of the project site, which the project would not preclude. In consideration of the lack of appropriate habitat at the site, the local abundance of foraging habitat, and the distance to the nearest colony, the Corps determined that the project would have no effect upon this species.

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. The project would not affect estuarine or marine habitat. Therefore, the Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed action would not have an adverse effect on EFH or federally managed fisheries in the Halifax River. 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 previously verified the jurisdictional line.

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 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, Mark R. Evans, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at mark.r.evans@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1940; or, by telephone at (904)232-2028.

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.