TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: This district has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:
APPLICANT: TRG North Flagler Venture, LLC.
Attn: Arturo Pena
315 South Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 3301
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located adjacent to 4400 and 4416 North Flagler Drive in Lake Worth Lagoon, West Palm Beach (Section 27 Township 43 and South, Range 43 East), Palm Beach County Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 take the 45th street exit in West Palm Beach and continue east until you reach North Flagler Drive. Turn right onto North Flagler Drive and the property is approximately 0.1 mile on the left side of the road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is shoreline stabilization and improved water access to support a water oriented residential community.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to shoreline stabilization and approved water access to support a water oriented residential community adjacent to Lake Worth Lagoon within the City of West Palm Beach Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The adjacent upland is an undeveloped 3.1 acre parcel. There are an existing upland retaining wall and two docks (4,810 square feet). The vegetation along the shoreline in the project area is dominated by herbaceous vines (sea purslane and railroad vine) and exotic inkberry (Scaevola frutescens). A seagrass survey was performed in the summer of 2016 and in October of 2017. According to the 2016 survey a narrow strip of intertidal and shallow subtidal seagrass had lines the study area shoreline. The mixed bed consisted of low-density Halophila johnsonii and Halodule wrightii; overall cover was low (less than 5%). During the post-hurricane survey in 2017, seagrass was not present along the shoreline. The bed location had shifted slightly deeper water along the seawall at the north end of the survey area. Halophila johnsonii was the dominate species in the October 2017 survey with sparse Halodule wrightii distributed throughout the bed. Muck is pervasive in the central portion of the survey area around the existing dock and extending waterward.
PROJECT HISTORY: The Corps issued a permit on August 15, 2007 for the repair and replacement of an existing seawall and docks located on the proposed property site under the same ownership. The proposed project is located on the southern portion of the property outside of the footprint of the existing authorization. The Corps issued a DA permit dated 25 October 2017, for work at 4400, which authorized the excavation of approximately 7,700 square feet (1,200 cy) of upland material to no more than +2-feet NGVD, and place 7,770 square feet (130 cubic yards) of clean beach fill above the MHWL, at an elevation of 1V:4H to match the existing bulkhead groin structure crest elevation, which will equilibrate approximately 24 feet waterward of the MHWL. The work described above is to be completed in accordance with the 7 pages of drawings and 4 attachments affixed at the end of this permit instrument.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to conduct the following activities within Waters of the U.S.
Excavate approximately 6,125 square feet (1,270 cy) of upland material to no more than +2 feet NGVD, and place 1,450 cy of clean beach fill material within a 205 square foot area above the MHWL, at an elevation of 1V:4H elevation, which will equilibrate approximately 40 feet waterward of the MHWL.
Installation of a 274 linear feet upland retaining wall located landward of the Mean High Water Line (MHWL); modifying the previous permitted configuration;
Removal of two existing pile supported docks (12 slips) and associated pilings (total 4,810 SF);
Installation of 258 linear feet of seawall , cap and associated batter piles a maximum of 75 linear feet waterward of the of the MHWL and backfilling approximately 8,100 SF (2,800 cy) of tidal water behind the seawall;
Replace 86 linear feet of an existing seawall/groin structure (5-feet by 86-feet) with sheet piles, that extends 86 linear feet from the MHWL;
Installation of a 10-slip floating dock that measures 9-feet by 250-feet long (2,250 SF), and 36 steel guide piles (18-24 inches in diameter).
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: No impacts to seagrass or other aquatic resources are proposed or anticipated. The proposed onsite sewage management system will be beneficial to the aquatic environment by providing an increase in water quality and clarity, and a decrease in sedimentation and turbidity by eliminating direct stormwater runoff from the project site to the aquatic environment in Lake Worth Lagoon. Turbidity control devices will be installed to minimize direct and indirect water quality issues related to the turbidity from construction activities.
Compensatory Mitigation: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: No impacts to seagrass or other aquatic resources are proposed or anticipated, therefore no compensatory mitigation should be required.
Endangered Species: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the threatened West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), and would not adversely modify their designated critical habitat. The Corps has receive previous concurrence with this determination and therefore, no further coordination with FWS is required for the above listed species pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the threatened and endangered swimming sea turtles; loggerhead (Caretta caretta), green (Chelonia mydas), leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and Kemp's Ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and the threatened smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and would not adversely modify their designated critical habitat. The Corps has received previous concurrence with this determination and therefore, no further coordination with NMFS is required for the above listed species 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. The proposal would impact/shade approximately 2,930 square feet of unvegetated habitat by the installation of structures, that is utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. 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.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Palm Beach Gardens Regulatory Permits Section, 4400, Palm Beach Gardens within 15 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, Ms. Linda C. Knoeck at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at Linda.C.Knoeck@usace.army.mil, or by telephone at 561-472-3531.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: After reviewing all available information pertaining to the completed work, the Department of the Army has not recommended legal action at this time. Final determination regarding legal action will be made after review of the project through the permit procedure.
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.