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SAJ-1997-07656 (SP-JSC)

Published Nov. 13, 2017
Expiration date: 11/28/2017
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: Lennar Homes, LLC
6750 Forum Drive, Suite 310
Orlando, FL 32926

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The 71.4± acre Storey Lake II project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Kissimmee River Hydrologic Unit (Hydrologic Unit Code 03090101); project is located west of Shingle Creek. The project site is located in Osceola County in Section 12, Township 25 South, Range 28 East, Osceola County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Take the Greenway (SR 417) to the World Center Drive exit. Take World Center Drive to Kissimmee Vineland Road, head south. Go to W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy and head east/south. Go about 0.5 mile and turn left onto Target Road and follow it to the end. The entrance to the property is at the end of this road.

Longitude -81.4657º


Basic: residential development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a single-family short-term rental development in the Kissimmee area, Osceola County, Florida.

PROJECT HISTORY: The Corps authorized Osceola Trace development (SAJ-1997-07656) to place fill in waters of the U.S. for development of a 768.0 acre site. Compensatory mitigation associated with this project included the purchase of an 803 acre parcel called London Creek Ranch and the re-establishment of wetlands on this parcel. SAJ-1997-07656, Modification 1, removed the 80 acre tract north of Osceola Parkway to be permitted under SAJ-2004-02181. This modification also authorized both a mitigation ledger and restoration and enhancement activities to generate 152 mitigation credits (referred to as functional units) on the 803 acre London Creek Ranch site. Since the authorization of the original permit, the permit has been transferred to two different entities – Lennar Homes, LLC being one of them. Tract B, in the southern end of the site is being expanded to include new lands (aka Westgate) west of Tract B. This application includes the work proposed within Tract B and the additional Westgate property. A Jurisdictional Verification was issued for the additional property on June 23, 2017 [SAJ-1997-07656 (JD-JSC)].

EXISTING CONDITIONS: On-site natural communities and/or land uses were classified using the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCCS). A jurisdictional verification [SAJ-1997-07656 (JDJSC)] was issued on June 23, 2017, indicating there are 14.68 acres of jurisdictional wetlands on-site. These areas are described as:

534 – Reservoir
The Stormwater pond in the northwestern corner of the property is associated with the previously permitted project referred to as Super Target at US 192 West/Kissimmee. This is a functioning stormwater pond that services the commercial development to the west. This pond outfalls to a series of underground pipes that drain westward toward US Highway 192, as this pond is associated with the roadway network permitted by Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

Also included in this land use category is the man-made surface water in the northeastern corner of the property. This surface water was excavated prior to 1984. At the time of the February 17, 2017 site inspection, this surface water did not have standing water. Vegetation within this surface water includes lemon bacopa (Bacopa caroliniana), torpedo grass (Panicum repens) and pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata). This retention area is contiguous with a small, remnant cypress dome on the northern property boundary.

617 – Mixed Wetland Hardwoods
This area comprises the northern and eastern limits of Wetland WC. It contains many of the same species noted under the Cypress community type described below, but with little to no pond cypress (Taxodium distichum).

621 – Cypress
There are two cypress domes present on the subject parcel; one located in the southwestern corner (Wetland WD) and one in the central portion of the property (Wetland WC). Dominant species within these wetlands include pond cypress, water oak (Quercus nigra), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), red maple (Acer rubrum), slash pine, netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolata), cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum) swamp fern (Blechnum indicum), lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus), poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).

The two cypress domes are connected by an overgrown, man-made ditch. Portions of this ditch system contain dense herbaceous vegetation and has likely become shallower over the years from erosion and lack of maintenance. These conditions impede the flow of water. These cypress domes have an ultimate northeasterly outfall through a ditch which flows north through a culvert under the road along the northern property boundary associated with Storey Lake.

There is also a small, remnant cypress dome in the northeastern corner of the property (Wetland WE). This small cypress area contains the same vegetation as the larger cypress domes, and is hydrologically contiguous with the surrounding man-made surface water (Wetland WB). This remnant cypress dome and connected surface water have an ultimate northeasterly outfall through a series of culverts in the northeastern corner of the property under the road associated with Storey Lake.

640 – Disturbed Wetland
This is the area where a dirt field road cuts across the ditch between cypress wetlands WC and WD. Herbaceous species are found along the edges of the dirt field road.

643 – Wet Prairie
The Wet Prairie (Wetland WA) is located in the northwestern corner of the project area. Dominant vegetation consists of beak sedges (Rhynchospora spp.), soft rush (Juncus effusus), beggarticks (Bidens spp.), and spikerush (Eleocharis sp.). There is a remnant forested component of this wetland along the northern property line. Species present in the forested component consist of blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica biflora) and cypress with understory of soft rush, pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), cattail (Typha latifolia), and pennywort.

This wetland historically existed as a small forested wetland surrounded by wet prairie and/or pasture. The wetland was drained by a large agricultural ditch which is evident on 1984 historical aerial imagery. This ditch was filled during mass grading of Storey Lake to the north. Construction of surrounding development has severed the anthropogenic drainage pattern of this wetland, and increased hydroperiods are now being realized.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 5.25 acres of waters of the United States for residential home construction.

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:

“Over time, and as a result of surrounding development, the onsite wetlands have expanded, which increased the amount of wetland impacts needed to meet the site criteria. The preferred site plan reduces the wetland impacts from 6.74 acres to the currently proposed 5.25 acres.

Wetland impacts are proposed to the lower quality, transitional wetlands. Wetland WA was historically comprised of a remnant forested system. Because of anthropogenic activities, drainage of this system was altered and the wetland limits expanded resulting in a transitional wet prairie system surrounding the core forested area. Wetland WA is underlain by disturbed soils, further indicating the marginal and transitional characteristics of this system. Impacts to wetland WA cannot be completely avoided in any design alternative, as access to the property must occur from the west. A site plan was designed to impact only a portion of Wetland WA, but leaving a remnant piece of this wetland in the post-development condition would not be a practical alternative as access to the wetland by wetland-dependent wildlife would be severely limited by the main entrance road. Wetlands WB and WE occur in the northeastern corner of the property. Similar to wetland WA, this system includes a small remnant portion of a forested wetland, which is now surrounded by a man-made surface water (Wetland WB). Preserving the man-made surface water and/or the very small remnant cypress system in the post-development condition would not be a practical alternative as access to the wetland by wetland- dependent wildlife would be severely limited by the main access road and Nautilus Trace Drive associated with Tract B. The highest quality wetlands, WC and WD will be preserved in the post-development condition.”

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

“Mitigation will be provided via the use of 3.66 mitigation units from the London Creek Mitigation Area.”


The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area, which is defined by the project boundaries. 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 action area includes the entire 71.4± acre project site. The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” (NLAA) wood stork (Mycteria americana). The proposed activity is within the Core Foraging Area (CFA) of a rookery; the project supports marginally Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in South Peninsular Florida (dated May 2010), the Corps determination sequence is as follows: A (Project impacts SFH at a location greater than 0.47 miles from a colony site) > B (Project impact to SFH is greater in scope than 0.5 acres) > C (Project impacts to SFH within the CFA of a colony site > E (Project provides SFH compensation) = NLAA. The project provides SFH compensation within the CFA consisting of enhancement, restoration or creation (and federal mitigation bank credits) that provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of the impacted SFH; in accordance with the Clean Water Act section 404(b)(1) guidelines, and is not contrary to the habitat management guidelines. The Corps has U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concurrence for the proposed activities through use of the aforementioned determination key.

The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect” the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi). Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key (dated August 1, 2017), the Corps determination sequence is as follows: A (The project is not located in open water or salt marsh.) > B (The permit will be conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and construction.) > C (The project will impact more than 25 acres of eastern indigo snake habitat.) = NLAA. The Corps will initiate formal consultation with USFWS pursuant to the aforementioned determination key.

Based on existing habitat types and/or provided survey information, the Corps preliminarily determined the project will have no effect on bluetail mole skink (Eumeces egregious lividus) and sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi), red-cockaded woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis), Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Audubon’s crested caracara (Polyborus plancus audubonii), and Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens).

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 proposal would impact approximately 5.25 acres of wet prairie and reservoir community types located in the headwaters of the Kissimme River. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Kissimmee 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. 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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926 within 15 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, Jeffrey Collins, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida, 32926; by electronic mail at; by fax at (321) 504-3803, or by telephone at (321) 504-3771 extension 13.

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.