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: Bainbridge Communities Acquisition III, LLC
Attn: Mr. Thomas Keady
12765 West Forest Hill Boulevard, Suite 1307
Wellington, Florida 33414
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The 48.04 ± acre Bainbridge at Lake Shadow project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Wekiva River Basin, which is part of the Middle St. Johns River Watershed (HUC 03080101). The project site is located in the City of Maitland, and is bounded to the west by Lake Lovely, to the east by Lake Shadow, and to the north by a residential subdivision, within Section 34, Township 21 South, Range 29 East in Orange County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Heading north on South Keller Road turn left (west) onto Fennell Street. Proposed entrance to property will be on the south side of Fennell Street. Site is currently accessed by right-of-way (at dead end) of Lovely Lane and adjoining northern property boundary.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 28.623731°
Basic: Residential Development
Overall: Construction of multi-family development in the Orlando-Maitland area, Orange County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site currently supports four land use types/vegetative communities. These land use types/vegetative communities were identified utilizing the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System, Level III (FLUCCS, FDOT, 1989). The on-site upland land use types/vegetative communities are classified as Residential, Low-Density Abandoned (FLUCCS 110x), Herbaceous Upland Non-Forested (FLUCCS 310), and Upland Hardwood-Coniferous Mixed (FLUCCS 434), which together cover approximately 16.39 acres of the project site. The federally-jurisdictional wetland vegetative communities (i.e. Waters of the United States) include three areas classified as Lakes (FLUCCS 520) measuring 7.52 acres, Mixed Wetland Hardwoods (FLUCCS 617) measuring 15.80 acres, and Willow and Elderberry (FLUCCS 618) measuring 8.32 acres.
The following provides a brief description of the on-site land use types/vegetative communities:
Residential, Low-Density (FLUCCS code 110) – This land use contains the remains of a vacated homestead. The lot is landscaped with exotic palm trees and pasture grasses. Other canopy species include ear pod tree (Enterolobium contortisiliquum), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), pond pine (Pinus serotina), camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora), and golden rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata). The shrub and herbaceous layers are comprised of bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), brackenfern (Pteridium aquilinum), caesarweed (Urena lobata), air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera), and muscadine (Vitis rotundfolia).
Herbaceous Upland Nonforested (FLUCCS code 310) – The herbaceous upland occurs in the north central portion of the site and is dominated by an open shrub layer of scattered wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) and cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). The ground cover includes dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), fireweed (Erechtites hieracifolia), scattered chalky bluestem (Andropogon virginicus), bahiagrass, caesarweed, Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), muscadine, white tickseed (Bidens alba), blackberry (Rubus sp.), and greenbrier (Smilax sp.). This area has undergone previous disturbances and is in early stages of ecological succession.
Upland Mixed Coniferous/Hardwood (FLUCCS code 434) – The forested uplands on the site consist of a mixed canopy dominated by laurel oak, water oak (Quercus nigra), earpod tree, chinaberry (Melia azedarach), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Chinese tallow (Sapium sebiferum), with occasional swamp bay (Persea palustris), dahoon holly (Ilex cassine), longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and pond pine also occurring. The shrub and groundcover layer is relatively open and is dominated by saplings of laurel oak, swamp bay, red maple (Acer rubrum), southern magnolia, and live oak (Quercus virginiana). Other species in the shrub layer include guava (Psidium sp.), black cherry (Prunus serotina), and laurel cherry (Prunus caroliniana). The herbaceous layer consists of chalky bluestem, American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), muscadine, Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata), poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), brackenfem, highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Virginia chainfern (Woodwardia virginica), netted chainfern (Woodwardia aereolata), creeping ox-eye (Wedelia trilobata), caesarweed, white tickseed, maidencane (Panicum hemitomon), blackberry, wiregrass (Aristida stricta), dogfennel, and a variety of other ornamentals.
Lakes (FLUCCS code 520) – The open-water portion of Lake Shadow on the site includes a littoral zone of herbaceous species, which consists of dense shrub and sub-canopy sized Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana) with scattered individuals of red maple, blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora), primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana), and dahoon holly. The herbaceous portion of the littoral zone consists of pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), white water lily (Nymphaea sp.), cattail (Typha latifolia), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), marsh pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata), maidencane, torpedo grass (Panicum repens), alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides), smartweed (Polygonum lapathfolium), muscadine, and Virginia willow (Itea virginica).
Mixed Wetland Hardwoods (FLUCCS code 617) – This forested vegetation type occurs along the western edge of Lake Shadow and comprises the majority of the southwestern portion of the site. In the northeast corner of the property, the vegetation type follows the edge of a ditch that is in a drainage easement. The vegetation adjacent to the drainage easement consists of pond pine, camphor tree, golden rain tree, and earpod tree. The groundcover consists of dense Boston fern, caesarweed, air potato, netted chainfern (Woodwardia areolata), swamp fern (Blechnum serrulatum), and Virginia willow. Further south, along the west side of Lake Shadow, the wetland consists of a canopy of laurel oak, pond pine, sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), dahoon holly, and a narrow fringe of Carolina willow. The subcanopy and groundcover layer consists of the above-listed species, with wax myrtle, Virginia willow, fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), muscadine, greenbrier, Virginia chainfern, cinnamon fern, and netted chainfern. The soils are hydric, with 4 or 5 inches of mucky texture over saturated soil. There are significant amounts of exotic species in this area including air potato, various species of palms, Boston fern, earpod tree, and Chinese tallow. Canopy of the mixed hardwood wetlands in the central and western portions of the site consists of sweetbay, laurel oak, water oak, swamp bay, red maple, camphor tree, chinaberry, Chinese tallow, scattered loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus) and blackgum with a subcanopy layer of the same species and a shrub and groundcover layer of red maple, laurel oak, American beautyberry, swamp fern, cinnamon fern, royal fern (Osmunda regalis), poison ivy, netted chainfern, dense muscadine, air potato, scattered dog fennel, blackberry, and elderberry.
Willow and Elderberry (FLUCCS code 618) – The 618 cover type consists of a scattered canopy of camphor tree, chinaberry, and occasional laurel oak and sweetbay with a shrub layer of elderberry, scattered wax myrtle and Carolina willow, winged sumac with a ground cover of dense muscadine, blackberry, cinnamon fern, chalky bluestem, ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), elephant's foot (Elephantopus spp.), air potato, wild bamboo (Smilax auriculata), meadowbeauty (Rhexia sp.), witchgrass (Dichanthelium sp.), dog fennel, and Japanese climbing fern (Lygodium japonicum).
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 2.63 acres of waters of the United States for construction of the Bainbridge at Lake Shadow multi-family development.
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 project area was identified during the early 2000s as a target location for a multi-family development. The property was permitted by local, state, and federal agencies, and issued Corps Permit SAJ-2004-7472 on December 28, 2004. This permit authorized the project, known as Shadow Lake, a 20-acre townhome development, to impact 2.93 acres. As a result of market conditions this project was never constructed, although all mitigation at the time was supplied for the approved 2.93 acres of wetland impacts. The current project seeks to build a multi-family development on the same footprint, but has minimized the wetland acreage an additional 0.3 acres, to 2.63 acres of unavoidable impacts.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“Mitigation to offset the functional losses from the unavoidable impacts to 2.93 acres of jurisdictional wetlands will consist of the preservation of onsite wetlands to remain post-development (totaling 27.475 acres) and the preservation of offsite wetland in the same hydrologic basin (totaling approximately 48 acres).”
The Corps has not made an effect determination but is requesting a cultural resources assessment survey (CRAS) be conducted by an archeologist to identify and evaluate cultural resources within the proposed permit area. Upon receipt of the CRAS, the Corps will make an effect determination and 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.
Wood Stork: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork and its designated critical habitat. The Corps completed an evaluation of the project based upon the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) North Florida Ecological Services Field Offices Programmatic Concurrence for use with the Wood Stork (September 2008). Use of the Key for Wood Stork resulted in the following sequential determination: A (The project is more than 2,500 feet from a colony site.) > B (Project impacts SFH) >C (Impacts to SFH > 0.5 acres) >D (Project impacts to SFH within a Core Foraging Area of a colony site) >E (Project provides SFH compensation within the Service Area of a Service-approved wetland mitigation bank or wood stork conservation bank preferably within the CFA, or consists of SFH compensation within the CFA consisting of enhancement, restoration or creation in a project phased approach that provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH) = “not likely to adversely affect” for wood storks. The Corps has FWS concurrence for the proposed activities through the use of the aforementioned determination key.
Eastern Indigo Snake: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake and its designated critical habitat. Based upon review of the Corps and Service’s Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key (dated August 13, 2013), the proposed project resulted in the following sequential determination: 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 protection construction.) >C (There are gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities) >D (The project will impact less than 25 acres of xeric habitat supporting less than 25 active and inactive gopher tortoise burrows) >E (Permit will be conditioned such that all gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, will be evacuated prior to site manipulation in the vicinity of the burrow. If an indigo snake is encountered, the snake must be allowed to vacate the area prior to additional site manipulation in the vicinity. Any permit will be conditioned such that holes, cavities, and snake refugia other than gopher tortoise burrows will be inspected each morning before planned site manipulation of a particular area, and, if occupied by an indigo snake, no work will commence until the snake has vacated the vicinity of proposed work) = “not likely to adversely affect” for the Eastern indigo snake. The permit will be conditioned with the Standard Construction Guidelines for the Eastern Indigo Snake. No further consultation was required.
Based on existing habitat types, the Corps preliminarily determined the project will have no effect on Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), sand skinks (Neoseps reynoldsi), blue-tailed mole skinks (Eumeces egregious lividus), 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 2.63 acres of freshwater wetlands which ultimately discharge to the Wekiva River. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the downstream waters. 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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926, within 30 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, Brandon J. Conroy, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (321) 504-3803; or, by telephone at (504) 321-3771 x11.
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.