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:
Ms. Magdalena Mason
8951 Bonita Beach Road SE
Bonita Springs, Florida 34135-4201
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with a forested wetland system within the Big Cypress Swamp watershed located on a 2.5-acre parcel at 2nd Street NE (Parcel No. 37592560005), in Section 23, Township 48 South, Range 27 East, Naples, Collier County, Florida 34120.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-75 South to Exit #111 to Immokalee Road in Collier County and continue approximately 10 miles and take a left on Wilson Boulevard North, take a right on 25th Avenue NE, and a final left onto 2nd Street NE. Project is located on a vacant parcel approximately 0.75-miles from the intersection of 25th Avenue NE and 2nd Street NE, near the end of the street.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 26.290384°
Overall: To construct a single family residence in Naples, Collier County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area consists of a vacant 2.5-acre parcel. The parcel contains 2.14-acres of non-tidal forested wetlands and 0.36-acre of uplands. The onsite vegetation consists of Southern Bald-Cypress (Taxodium distichum), Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii), Cabbage Palmetto (Sabal palmetto), Guianese Colicwood (Myrsine cubana), Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia), Toothed Mid-Sorus Fern (Blechnum serrulatum), and Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia) in the wetland areas. In the uplands, the dominant vegetation includes Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii), Saw-Palmetto (Serenoa repens), Southern Bayberry (Morella cerifera), Southern Bracken Fern (Pteridium caudatum), and Broom-Sedge (Andropogon virginicus). The existing area surrounding the project area has similar vacant lots that are or will be proposed for similar single family residences.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place fill within 0.33 acres (1,597 cubic yards) of non-tidal forested wetlands to construct a single family home with associated septic field, well, and driveway.
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 site has been impacted but minimized to impact as little wetlands as possible. The house construction is near the roadway and does not further encroach into the wetlands more than the neighbors’ homes. The project has been designed to take advantage of the upland area and minimize impacts to wetlands. The ROW area is owned by Collier County and will be culverted for drainage.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: “Offsite mitigation will be provided at an approved wetland mitigation bank, Panther Island Mitigation Bank or Corkscrew Regional Mitigation Bank, and will consist of purchase of 0.18 forested wetland credits.” Final approval of the compensatory mitigation plan will be determined after the Corps’ reviews the functional assessment provided by the applicant.
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: Based upon information provided by the applicant, the Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the: Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi), Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus), and the Florida Panther (Puma concolor coryi). The project will not impact any designated critical habitat. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, as deemed necessary and noted below.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Potential impacts to the eastern indigo snake were evaluated using the revised Eastern Indigo Snake Key dated July 2017. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > D > NLAA pursuant to the Key. This determination is based on the project’s impacts to less than 25 acres of eastern indigo snake habitat, the site having no known active or inactive gopher tortoise burrows, and the permit shall be conditioned to use the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake (dated August 12, 2013). The Corps has USFWS concurrence for the proposed activities through use of the aforementioned determination key and no further consultation will be required.
The Corps has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Florida bonneted bat [FBB] (Eumops floridanus). The project is located outside of the focal area, but within the overall consultation area of the FBB. Potential impacts to the FBB were evaluated using the 2013 FBB consultation guidelines key, the project keys out 2>a>MANLAA. The project site is less than 5 acres and does not include potential roost sites. The applicant’s agent conducted a survey of the property on May 4, 2017 and documented “No suitable cavities were observed on the property and no signs of utilization by bats could be found. Based on this, construction of a single-family home on this property should not constitute any direct, secondary or cumulative impacts to the bonneted bat, nor any other listed species. The applicant has minimized impacts to wetlands and listed species by limiting impacts to the smallest footprint possible for construction of a home and driveway.” The Corps will conduct a separate consultation with USFWS for concurrence with this may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect determination.
The Corps has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi). The project is located within the Florida panther focal area. Potential impacts to the panther were evaluated using the February 19, 2007 Florida Panther Effect Determination Key. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A>C>MANLAA pursuant to the Key because the project is less than 1 acre and no further consultation with USFWS will be required.
The Corps has also determined that the proposed project will have no effect on the Audubon’s Crested Caracara (Polyborus plancus audubonii), Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), Red Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis), and/or the Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana) because the project site does not support suitable habitat for any of these 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. Since the project site is located inland of any tidal waters, the proposal would not impact any EFH habitat does not require consultation 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 via a preliminary jurisdictional determination which determined that the subject parcel contains approximately 2.14-acres of non-tidal forested wetlands and 0.36-acre of uplands.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and/or one of the state Water Management Districts. FDEP issued a single family residence wetland fill permit on September 21, 2017 (Permit No.: 0355686-001 EI).
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 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, Katy Damico, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd, Fort Myers, Florida 33919; by electronic mail at Katy.R.Damico@usace.army.mil ; by facsimile transmission at (813) 769-7061; or, by telephone at (813) 769-7076.
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.