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: 88 Daves Creek, LLC
Emerald Cove Subdivision
355 Brogden Road, Suite 211
Suwanee, Georgia 30024
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with West Bay. The project site is located on the west side of Wildwood Road approximately 1,000 feet north of the intersection of Wildwood Road and Highway 98 in Panama City Beach, in Bay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Panama City – West on US Highway 98 over the Hathaway Bridge to Panama City Beach, continue on US Highway 98 approximately 6 tenths of a mile then turn right (north) onto Wildwood Road. The project site is on the west side of Wildwood Road approximately 1,000 LF north of the US Highway 98 and Wildwood Road intersection.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.193064°
Basic: Residential development.
Overall: To construct a 113-lot single family residential subdivision within the vicinity of the proposed sports complex to fulfill a growing demand for new, affordable residential opportunities at the east end of Panama City Beach.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a freshwater forested system that is tributary to West Bay. The onsite vegetation consists of Pinus elliottii, Cliftonia monophylla, Myrica cerifera, and Ilex coriacea. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of residential development and silviculture lands.
The wetland areas proposed to be impacted consist of wetlands that are moderate to low quality along the perimeter of an abandoned upland multi-family development that was previously proposed by an unrelated party. Hydric soil indicators observed include dark surface, mucky texture, and local soil survey data. Hydrology indicators observed include inundation / saturation, water marks, water-stained leaves, and a positive FAC-Neutral test.
Primary wetland functions are wildlife habitat / cover for small reptiles, insects, and amphibians; and water storage and attenuation.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place fill material in 2.89 acres of jurisdictional wetlands in order to construct roadways and to create buildable residential lots within a 118-lot residential subdivision.
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:
Jurisdictional wetland areas occupy approximately 14.91 acres, or 39% of the +/- 38-acre project site. Impacts cannot be avoided due the irregular pattern of wetlands.
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 within the subject property. The project has minimized direct wetland impacts by limiting impacts to those necessary to create contiguous lots along the proposed roadways. The applicant is proposing to impact 19% of the onsite wetlands. The remaining 81% of onsite wetlands will remain undisturbed.
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.
To offset the 2.89 acres of wetland impacts, as well as, secondary impacts associated with the proposed project, the applicant is proposing to purchase 1.66 forested wetland credits from the Breakfast Point 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 eastern indigo snake. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) concurrence with this determination 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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in West Bay. 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 Panama City Permits Section, Attention: Tracey Wheeler 1002 West 23rd Street, Suite 350, Panama City, Florida 32405 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, Tracey Wheeler, in writing at the Panama City Permits Section, 1002 West 23rd Street, Panama City, Florida 32405; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (850) 872-0231; or, by telephone at (850) 763-0717 ex 24.