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

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SAJ-1997-01375 (SP-RGH)

Posted: 2/2/2018

Expiration date: 2/23/2018

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: Joe Taggart
JT Enterprises, LLC
107 South Franklin Street, Suite 200
Tampa, Florida 33602

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Hillsborough River. The project site is located along the south side of East Fletcher Avenue (SR 582A) between Telecom Drive and Telecom Parkway North, in Section 11, Township 28 South, Range 19 East, Temple Terrace, Hillsborough County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Driving north on I-75, take Exit 266 west on to E. Fletcher Ave. Drive approximately 1.2 miles west on E. Fletcher Ave. The project site will be on the left (south) side of the road, between Telecom Parkway N. and Telecom Drive.

Latitude 28.068234°
Longitude -82.372213°


Basic: Commercial Development
Overall: Commercial development consisting of 5 commercial (retail/restaurant/medical office) outparcels.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a 5.94 acre freshwater system. The onsite wetland vegetation consists of a 5.94 acre wetland (Wetland 1) (Wetland Forested Mixed - FLUCFCS 630). The periphery of this wetland is dominated by laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia) and red maple (Acer rubrum) in the canopy. The canopy within the interior of the wetland is dominated by cypress (Taxodium spp.) with lesser coverage of sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). The shrub layer consists primarily of buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana), while groundcover is dominated by Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus), pickerelweed (Pontedaria cordata), royal fern (Osmunda regalis), Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), and soft rush (Juncus effusus). This wetland is hydrologically isolated from adjacent systems by surrounding roads, development, and a berm along the southwest portion of the wetland.

The surrounding project area consists of uplands within the northern, western, southwestern, and southeastern portions of the project area. Dominate vegetation within these areas consist of maintained upland grasses, predominantly bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), adjacent to surrounding roadways. The southeastern portion of the area contains a small upland fringe directly adjacent to existing development (hotels). This area is dominated by live oak (Quercus virginiana) and laurel oak in the canopy, beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and Carolina laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana) in the shrub layer, with sword fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) and blackberry (Rubus spp.) in the herbaceous layer. The northeast portion of the project area includes uplands dominated by live oak and slash pine (Pinus palustris) in the canopy layer, with saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) dominating the shrub layer. The herbaceous stratum provided only minimal coverage, with sword fern and vines including earleaf greenbrier (Smilax auriculata) and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) present.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct ± 13.86 acre commercial development consisting of 5 commercial (retail/restaurant/medical office) outparcels. The project will also contain related site amenities and improvements inclusive of parking, access roadways, landscaping, utilities, and storm water management facilities. The proposed outparcels total approximately 21,500 square feet. The proposed project also includes a total of 4 acres of impact to the existing on-site wetland as a result of fill required for the construction of the outparcels.

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: In order to have an economically viable project, it must be situated along the frontage of Fletcher Avenue. Given the size and location of the wetland within the central portion of the project boundary and adjacent to Fletcher Avenue, complete avoidance of the wetland was not possible. The upland portion identified on the project site has been maximized for development purposes. Impacts to 4.6 acres of wetlands has been previously approved via letter in 1985 and in 2001 under permit SAJ-1997-01375. Based on additional efforts to avoid or minimize wetland impacts, the proposed project will only impact 4.0 acres of wetlands, less than was previously approved.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Compensatory wetland mitigation has already been authorized and provided for the proposed impacts. These areas have also been deemed successful by both SWFWMD and EPC. According to the October 1985 SWFWMD permit (ERP No. 49000390), the total mitigation proposed for the Telecom site included 18.37 acres of ponds including littoral shelves, 6.8 acres of wetlands, and 2.85 acres of wetlands provided specifically for compensation for impacts to wood stork habitat (Woodstork Ponds).

In May 2017, Birkitt Environmental Services, Inc. performed an assessment of the current condition of the mitigation areas within the site. Based on the assessment, vegetative cover within the littoral shelves of the ponds and within the wetlands ranged from 65% to 95%, with cover exceeding 80% in the majority of these areas. Dominant species included mature cypress in the canopy as well as groundcover consisting of swamp flag (Thalia geniculata) and pickerelweed, among others. Nuisance/exotic species coverage was minimal, with only some torpedograss (Panicum repens), less than <5% coverage in all ponds, along the shore line, 5%-10% cover of cattail (Typha spp.) in one pond only, and minimal <5% coverage of Peruvian primrosewillow (Ludwigia peruviana) in a few of the ponds.

The northern Woodstork Pond contained nearly 100% vegetative cover dominated by herbaceous species including swamp flag, soft rush, and lizard’s tail. Nuisance/exotic species coverage in this pond was minimal and consisted of less than <5% cover of Peruvian primrosewillow. Vegetative cover within the southern Woodstork Pond was somewhat less, with approximately 60% cover, however a significant portion of this pond appears to have been designed as shallow open water habitat to provide woodstork Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH). Dominant species included swamp flag, pickerelweed, soft rush, and Carolina willow. Nuisance/exotic species coverage consisted of approximately 5%-10% cover of Peruvian primrosewillow.

Based on an assessment of the current condition of the mitigation areas, they continue to meet success criterion and provide a full range of habitat values as compensation for the wetlands proposed for impact.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of historic property/properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project “May affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (NLAA)” the Wood stork (Mycteria americana) and Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Potential impacts to the wood stork were evaluated using the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, dated September 2008 (Key). The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > NLAA pursuant to the Key. Potential impacts to the eastern indigo snake were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Key (Key) dated 25 January 2010 and updated 13 August 2013. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > NLAA pursuant to the Key. This determination is based on the applicant implementing the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake. Through the Programmatic Concurrence of above referenced 2 keys, “NLAA” determinations for projects made pursuant to these keys require no further consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 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, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302 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, Ryan Hendren, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302; by electronic mail at Ryan.G.Hendren@usace.army.mil or, by telephone at 813-769-7075.

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.

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.

Hillsborough County Jacksonville District permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE