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: Goodrich Merchandise Corp.
c/o Prajesh Mohan
16209 Great Blue Heron Ct
Winter Garden, FL 34787
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Reedy Creek. The project site is located directly south of Poinciana Parkway/Ronald Reagan Parkway, approximately 0.8 mile east of US 17-92.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-4 East, take exit 58 toward Kissimmee/Poinciana. Keep right at the fork and merge onto Osceola Polk Line Road. Turn left onto Polk 54/Ronald Reagan Parkway. The site is on the right (south side of the road) approximately 0.8 mile east of US 17-92.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Overall: To construct a single-family residential development in northeastern Polk County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site encompasses approximately 80 acres consisting of mostly improved pasture with approximately 22 acres of wetlands and 2 acres of live oak hammock.
Wetland A is the largest wetland system located along the western, northern, and southern portions of the project area. It is a 21.6 acre mixed forested system dominated by pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens), sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), red bay (Persea palustris), Lyonia spp., cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea) and some (10 to 30 percent) nuisance species including primrose willow (Ludwigia spp.), southern fox grape vine, and blackberry (Rubus spp.). This wetland discharges off-site to the north under old Kinney Harmon road towards the Reedy Creek Mitigation Bank and extends offsite to the west onto the Providence project site.
Wetland B is a 0.41 acre portion of a larger freshwater marsh which extends towards the east onto the Sereno subdivision. The aquatic vegetation in this freshwater marsh is primarily Maidencane with scattered emergent vegetation.
Wetland C is a 0.36 acre freshwater marsh located in the southeastern middle portion of the project area.
The upland and the wetland vegetative communities are hydrologically stressed due to poor maintenance of drainage culverts, lack of engineering that accommodates increased drainage from nearby developments, and anomalous natural causes. The project parcel is bordered to the east and south by residential development, to the west by forested wetlands and improved pasture, and to the north by the Poinciana Parkway/Ronald Reagan Parkway.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 2.2 acres of wetlands for the construction of a single-family residential development known as “Tivoli Reserve.”
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 applicant states that the majority of the on-site wetlands will be avoided. The largest impact is due to the proposed entry way, the location of which is required by state and county road design criteria. To reduce secondary effects to the remaining wetland system, the applicant intends to implement wetland enhancement in Wetland A including exotic/invasive plant removal, hydrologic improvements and preservation in a conservation easement.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant intends to purchase federal mitigation credits from the Southport Ranch Mitigation Bank.
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the wood stork (Mycteria americana). Potential impacts to the wood stork were evaluated using the Wood Stork Effect Determination Key dated May 18, 2010 (Key). The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > “not likely to adversely affect” pursuant to the Key.
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 (Key), revised July 2017 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s South Florida Ecological Services Office. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > D > “not likely to adversely affect” pursuant to the Key.
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 inland freshwater wetlands. 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/jurisdictional status of the wetlands has not been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: The project is currently under review with the South Florida Water Management District under Application no. 170710-1.
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, FL 33610 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, Jessica Cordwell, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120 Tampa, Florida 33610, by telephone at (813)769-7067, by fax at (813)769-7061, or by electronic mail at Jessica.L.Cordwell@usace.army.mil.
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, aesthetics, 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.