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: Lofton Island Development, LLLP
3040 Grand Oasis Blvd.
Fort Myers, Florida 33916
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with. The project site is located at 3000 Oasis Grand Boulevard, in Section 18, Township 44 South, Range 25 East, Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Depart Summerlin Rd./CR-869 S Toward Matthew Drive (0.8mi); Turn right onto Colonial Blvd / CR-884 E (0.5 mi); Keep straight onto SR-884 E / Colonial Blvd (0.8 mi); Turn left onto Fowler Ave/Fowler St (1.7 mi); Keep straight onto SR-739/Fowler St/Fowler Ave (1.4 mi); Turn right onto SR-82 E./Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. (213 ft.); Bear left, and then bear left onto Evans Ave (0.3 mi); Road name changes to Park Ave (0.2 mi); Turn right onto SR-80 E./2nd St (0.9 mi); Turn left onto SR-80 W./Palm Beach Blvd (CITGO on the corner / 0.2 mi); and Turn right onto Oasis Way, and then immediately turn right onto Frierson St (0.1 mi);
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 26.654920º
Overall: Construct a mixed use marina in Lee County
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of a 17.66-acre upland parcel which contains “The Oasis” condominium. The previously existing docking structures were removed as authorized under this permit. The mixed-use marina is located along the shoreline facing the Caloosahatchee River.
On March 8, 2010 the original permit authorization was issued for the reconfiguration of an existing marina to a mixed use, commercial marina consisting of 51 permanent wet-slip moorings, 17 temporary (weather permitting) slips, improving the boat ramp and tending docks and upland storage area. Boat storage in the dry stack building is limited to 61 boats. The project includes dredging 30,573 square feet of the boat basin to a depth of -5.0 NGVD. The 2,300 cubic yards (cy) of sand/silt sediment will be placed permanently on the adjacent uplands. The project site currently has 771 linear (lf) of existing shoreline. The new marina would have a total of 880 lf of shoreline by replacing 330 lf of existing seawall, construction 139 lf of new seawall and installing 411 lf of seawall in 1 foot waterward of the existing seawall.
A permit modification request was submitted on July 2, 2014, and authorized October 8, 2014 for the exception of construction timeframe, making the expiration date March 20, 2017. A permit transfer to Lofton Island Development, LLP was completed on July 2, 2014.
Project site was the former Fort Myers Yacht repair and storage facility. The site consisted of an existing marina basin with boat ramp, tending docks and upland storage area. The former upland storage area is currently being developed and two of the five high-rises have been constructed. The residential development is known as "The Oasis". The applicant conducted benthic surveys of the marina basin and found no seagrass within the marina basin. Work completed to date includes improvements to the boat ramp, dredging approximately 300 cubic yards of material to facilitate the ramp improvements and construction of the 5’w x 92’l (460sf) overwater tending dock. There has been 70 lf of seawall repaired/replaced and 30lf of seawall has been permanently removed. There have been some minor reductions to the existing overwater dock structures leaving 689 sf that will eventually be removed in their entirety to facilitate installation of the proposed dock structures.
PROPOSED WORK: The permittee requests an extension of time in order to complete the reconfiguration of an existing marina into a mixed use, commercial marina consisting of 51 permanent wet-slip moorings, 17 temporary slips and construction of an upland boat storage area limited to 61 boats for a total of 129 slips when complete. There is 27,400 sf of dredging to -5’ MLW to complete. This area contains 2,000 cy of sand/silt sediment to be dredged that will be placed on uplands. The project site has 330 lf of seawall to be replaced with a proposed seawall located waterward of the existing seawall, 341 lf of seawall to be replaced within the existing alignment and 139 lf of proposed new seawall to be constructed. The site will have 880 lf of seawall when complete.
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:
There are no sea grasses or aquatic vegetation.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
No mitigation is proposes since there are no unavoidable impacts.
The Corps has determined that the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources (DHR) reviewed the project per their letter dated February 19, 2008 that states the site has been reviewed via a “Phase I Archaeological and Historical Survey”. The DHR requested the following: “It is the opinion of this agency that the Taylor Frierson House is ineligible for the NRHP due to the extensive alteration of both the exterior and interior. However, it remains our request that if the 8LL372 cannot be preserved in place or removed to a new location and preserved, that the architectural elements be removed by a professional salvage company.”
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has already consulted on all necessary endangered species. The applicant has agreed to comply with “Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water work, 2011” and “Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions” dated March 23, 2006. No further consultation is required.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): The National Marine Fisheries Service has previously provided the following on April 22, 2008, “NMFS anticipates that any adverse effects that might occur on marine and anadromous fishery resources would be minimal and therefore they do not object to issuance of a permit.” No further consultation is required.
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 District Engineer through the 1520 Royal Palm Square, Suite 310, Ft. Myers, Florida 33919 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, Allison C. Murphy, in writing at the Ft. Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd., Ft. Myers, Florida, 33919; by electronic mail at Allison.C.Murphy@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (239)334-0797; or, by telephone at (239)334-1975 ext. 0008.
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.