Public Notice Notifications

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

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

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SAJ-2016-03592 (SP-EWG)

Published April 6, 2018
Expiration date: 4/30/2018

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:
Hunter’s Lake LLC.
c/o Jose Borrego
4041 Park Oaks Blvd Suite 110
Tampa FL33610

Hillsborough County
c/o Thomas Fass
601 E. Kennedy Blvd
Tampa FL33602

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Trout Creek wetlands. The project site is located North and West of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard within Sections 13, Township 27 South and Range 19 East., Hillsborough County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: To access the project area, from I-75 North exit on Bruce B Downs Boulevard north. Travel northbound on Bruce B Downs Boulevard for 2.7 miles to Hunter’s Green Drive. The project site is across Bruce B Downs Boulevard from Hunter’s Green Drive, New Tampa, Florida.
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APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Latitude: 28.139422°
Longitude: -82.359137°


PROJECT PURPOSE:
Basic: Residential and Commercial Development
Overall: To construct a mixed use development that includes housing, retail, cultural center and Public Park in the northeast of Hillsborough County.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project site is an 81.28± Acres composed of approximately 12.28± Acres of Unimproved Pasture, 31.29± Acres of Mixed Wetland Hardwood, 20.14± Pine Flatwoods, 13.04± Cypress Bay Head, and 4.53± Acres of Retention Ponds. The Southern half of the property is considered Freshwater Emergent Wetlands per the National Wetlands Inventory Records. The native vegetation accounts for roughly 85 percent or approximately 69.09±. While the other 12.19± Acres altered exotic/nuisance vegetative coverage areas. The acreages are un-surveyed estimates calculated from aerial mapping and the site reconnaissance. The dominant plant species were observed by the applicant are; Cypress, Pine, Laurel Oak, Sabal Palm, Sweetgum, Wild Coffee, Saw Palmetto, Beauty Berry, Sphagnum Moss, Road Grass, Redroot, Wax Myrtle, and Saw Grass. There were only a few Exotic Species present on-site including: Caesar Weed, and Castor Bean.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to permanently fill ±1.61 acres and temporary fill ±1.87 acres of waters of the United States in the form of wetlands for the development ±81.98 acres (of which ±41.52 acres are wetlands) property for the construction of a The Villages at Hunter’s Lake housing, retail and park 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 wetland Impacts are for access to the meandering developable landlocked uplands within six (6) forested wetland systems. Because of the rapid residential development in this New Tampa area minimal large tracks of land remain for commercial development and the need for county facilities is in high demand. The access road requirements mandated wetland impacts to four (4) out of six (6) individual wetland systems. Through Four design iterations the impacts were reduced from 2.71 Acres to a total wetland impact of 1.61 Acres out of 41.52 Acres of on-site wetlands.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – Although the proposed project area is within tree Mitigation Bank services areas, the applicant has provided the following discussion on compensatory mitigation: The Wetland Compensation Plan will consist of Forested, Shrub and Herbaceous components, even though most of the impacts are to forested wetlands with minimal to no understory. The Mitigation Creation Area is proposed within the Floodplain Compensation Areas adjacent to and between Wetland 1, Wetland 5 and adjacent to Wetland 4. This Creation Area will hydrologically connect Wetland 1 and 5 into an integrated system as well as Wetland 4. The SHW Elevation is 43.50, and the mitigation area pond bottom will be at EL: 42.00. The plant material will consist of a Forested System of 3 Gallon Cypress, Sweet Gum, Laurel Oak, and Red Maples planted 10’ O.C. and a Shrub System of 3 Gallon Wax Myrtles, Button Bush planted 5’ O.C. The Herbaceous System will be 1 Gallon equivalent Pickerelweed, Arrowhead, Sand Cordgrass and Yellow Cannas planted 3’ O.C. The Wetland Creation Areas will provide an overall better quality wetland habitat system as Impacts to Wetland 1, 2 and 4 have minimal to no native shrub or herbaceous understory. Impacts in Wetland 1 and 6 are in areas of previously approved impact areas for the expansion of Bruce B. Downs. The diversity of each level of overstory, midstory, and the understory is more diverse than the current system. The City of Tampa requires mitigation within the City Limits for local permit approval.

The Wetland Creation Area will be constructed within two (2) Floodplain Compensation Areas that will hydrologically connect to the Wetlands. For an impact of 1.61 Acres of a forested system, the Compensation per the UMAM scores will be 3.63 Acres. A five (5) year maintenance and monitoring program will insure the success of the forested, shrub and herbaceous Wetland Creation System.

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 the (NLAA) the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) and wood stork (Mycteeria Americana). Additionally, the Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) or their designated critical habitat.

Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): By letter dated 25 January 2010 and addendum dated 13 August 2013, the FWS states that projects analyzed with the 25 January 2010 version of the Indigo Snake Key in which the Corps reaches a “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” determination (A>B>C>E), the FWS hereby concurs with the Corps' determination in accordance with 50 CFR 402.14(b) 1, and no further consultation with the FWS is required.

Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens): The project area is within the consultation area for the Florida scrub jay. However, there is no suitable habitat for the species. The Corps has made the preliminary determined the proposal would have “no effect” on the Florida scrub jay or its designated critical habitat. This determination is based on a review of the Species Conservation Guideline, consultation maps and information available about the species’ preferred habitat.

The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” the wood stork (Mycteeria Americana) or its designated critical habitat. No further action is required. This determination was based on use of the wood stork Effect Determination Key (May 18, 2010). Sequence: A > B > C > E “not likely to adversely affect”. With an outcome of "no effect" or "NLAA as outlined in this key, and the project has less than 20.2 hectares (50 acres) of wetland impacts, the requirements of section 7 of the Act are fulfilled for the wood stork and no further action is required.


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 as the project is inland of fisheries resources. 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 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, Edgar Garcia, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at edgar.w.garcia@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (813) 769-7061; or, by telephone at (813) 769-7062.

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.