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-2017-02584 (SP-CSH)

Published Nov. 15, 2017
Expiration date: 11/30/2017

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: Polk County Land Partners, LLC
Attn: Jean Marsen
8297 Champions Gate Blvd, #401
Champion’s Gate, Florida 33896

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Little Lake Hamilton. The project site is located southeast of the intersection of US Highway 27 and County Road 544 in Section 5, Township 28 South, Range 27 East, Haines City, Polk County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From Tampa, follow I-4 East to SR-557, take exit 48, follow Old Polk City Road to US-27N; turn left onto SR-557; turn left onto Haines City Road / Old Polk City Road; turn right onto US-27S and follow to 2405-2637 FL-25.

Latitude 28.076474°
Longitude -81.641312°


Basic: Residential
Overall: Residential development to serve the greater Haines City region.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Bellaviva project area exists in an undeveloped state, with agricultural uses and natural vegetative communities including citrus groves, herbaceous wetlands, and improved pasture. There are 35.7 acres of wetland and surface waters located within the project area. There are two borrow areas separated by a berm and which exhibit different vegetative regimes. Both are located in the southern portion of the subject parcel. The first area is northwest of the second area and is largely herbaceous in nature. Flora found here include: slender spikerush, coinwort, pickerelweed, bull-tongue arrowhead and big-leafed carpet grass. The second borrow area is located just to the southeast and is separated by a narrow berm. This area is dominated by a woodier vegetative regime with an overstory composed of species such as Carolina willow, red maple (Acer rubrum) and Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius). The understory is composed of such species as Peruvian primrose willow and pará grass.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to permanently fill 6.7 acres of surface waters (borrow pits) and 1.12 acres of wetlands to serve a 147-acre residential development. Activities include construction of lots, roadways, stormwater management system and infrastructure.

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 surface water impacts will be incurred for home sites and roadways. The applicant has made use of the existing field road between SW-1 and SW-2 to avoid and minimize impacts. This concentrates impacts to man-made borrow areas and avoids impacts to the highest quality wetlands onsite (WL-1 and WL-2) entirely. The remaining impacts are to man-made upland-cut borrow pits and a wetland system of extreme low-quality due to presence of a monoculture of pará grass. There is no alternative site design that would provide the roadway access required for the project and result in less impacts.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Mitigation for the impacts to WL-3 will be provided for state permitting purposes by the purchase of mitigation credits from the BRMB. If Wetland 3 is determined to be jurisdictional to the ACOE then dual state-federal mitigation credits will be purchased. No mitigation is proposed for impacts to SW-1 and SW-2 as these are man-made excavations in former uplands.

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 Everglades Snail Kite, Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, Caracara, Woodstork or Skink. A formal sand skink (Plestiodon reynoldsi) survey was conducted in the spring of 2016. The survey area covered 28.43 acres of the most suitable habitat within the project area that consisted of active citrus grove on suitable sand skink soils. The survey was initiated April 21, 2016 and was completed on May 12, 2016. No sand skinks or evidence of sand skink activity (e.g. tracks) were observed during the survey events. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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 not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries. 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 Tampa Permits Section within 15 days from the date of this notice. For electronic mail (preferred) submit comments to For standard mail submit comments to 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302. Please reference this permit number, SAJ- 2017-02584 (SP-CSH), on all submittals.

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, Caitlin Hoch, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at; by fax at (813)769-7061; or, by telephone at (813)769-7074.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat

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 of 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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.