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: Ms. Cristol Lee
1605 Country Walk Drive
Fleming Island, Florida 32003
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Doctors Lake. The project site is located at Lakeshore Drive North, Lot 309 in Section 30, Township 4 South, Range 26 East, Orange Park, Clay County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.122296°
Basic: The basic project purpose is residential development.
Overall: The overall purpose is to develop a single-family residence accompanying a bulkhead and dock.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The entire subject property is an approximately one acre vacant lot contiguous to Doctors Lake. Wetlands on the property are identified in accordance with the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS, 1999). The soil type on-site is identified as Sapelo fine sand, according to the Soil Survey of Clay County, Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service).
The southern portion of the property and portions of the property edges extending north are made up of hardwood coniferous mixed. Canopy species include slash pine (Pinus elliottii), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). The majority of the site was cleared of vegetation within the past year, leaving early successional species as the primary groundcover species. These species include beggarticks (Bidens alba), Virginia chainfern (Woodwardia virginica), dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), and creeping oxeye (Sphagneticola trilobata). Soil profiles within this community exhibited sandy redox (S5) conditions at approximately 10 inches below surface.
The northern portion of the property is dominated by a seepage wetland (wetland forested mixed) that is directly connected to Doctors Lake to the north. Canopy species in this area include red maple (Acer rubrum), sweetgum, and limited slash pine. Similar to the adjacent uplands, mechanical clearing activities within the past year have altered the vegetative make-up of the groundcover within the wetland. Groundcover includes creeping oxeye, Virginia chainfern, woodoats (Chasmanthium laxum), netted chainfern (Woodwardia areolate), soft rush (Juncus effusus), and primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana). Soils within the wetland were consistently saturated and exhibited sandy redox (S5) conditions at approximately 2 to 4” below surface.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge fill material onto 0.49 acre of forested wetlands to facilitate the construction of a 5,000 square foot single-family home and bulkhead and to construct a single slip dock.
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 size of the home is comparable to other new waterfront homes on Lakeshore Drive North that range between 3,500 square feet and 5,500 square feet. The proposed site plan incorporates Clay County building setbacks, construction of a new well and septic system with associated setbacks, and a swimming pool, as well as a swale system to prevent the proposed project from discharging water onto adjacent properties. Wherein the home site occupies approximately two-thirds of the property, the proposed bulkhead will sever the on-site wetland’s connection to Doctors Lake while the fill required to construct the home and anchor the bulkhead will fill the remainder of the site between the home and the bulkhead.
The applicant proposes to tie into the existing wooden bulkheads on the adjacent properties to create a uniform stabilized shoreline.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
Mitigation would be accomplished through the purchase of 0.31 federal credits from a mitigation bank servicing the project area. A mitigation bank would be selected following approval of the proposed mitigation plan.
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.
Manatee (Trichechus manatus): The Corps reviewed the project utilizing The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-D-G-H-I-N-O-P- may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect. The Corps partially based this determination on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011. The Corps would request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered 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. The proposal would impact approximately 0.20 acre of estuarine habitat contiguous to the project site, utilized by various life stages of black grouper, gray snapper, and penaid shrimp. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries in Doctors Lake. 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 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019 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, Renee Riker, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1904; or, by telephone at (904)232-1497.
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.