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: Ad 5 Commercial, LLC
Attn: Alex Fridzon
1955 Harrison Street, Suite 200
Hollywood, FL 33020
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The 57.60 ± acre Bali Boulevard project would affect waters of the United States associated with Big Creek-Palatlakaha River subwatershed within the Kissimmee subbasin (HUC 03080102). The project site is located just northwest of the intersection of C.R. 535 and Bali Boulevard, within Section 31, Township 24 South, Range 27 East in Orange County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From FL 429 head west on FL 530, W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. Turn right at Avalon Road and make an immediate left onto Bali Boulevard. The project entrance is approximately a quarter of a mile from the intersection of Avalon Road and Bali Boulevard on the north side of Bali Boulevard.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 28.351104°
Basic: Resort Development
Overall: Construction of a commercial resort development in southwest Orange County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Bali Boulevard project site consists primarily of undeveloped land. A small paved parking lot exists on the southern boundary of the property. There is also a 6.2± acre borrow pit located in the central portion of the site. On-site vegetative communities and agricultural land uses documented on the Bali
Boulevard project site were classified using the Florida Land Use Cover & Forms
Classification System (FLUCFCS). Using data from aerial photography, published resources and by limited ground-truthing, a total of eight distinct vegetative communities have been documented on the project site. The location and extent of each mapped vegetative community / land use type is indicated on Figure 4. Detailed descriptions of each vegetative community and land use are outlined below:
414 – Pine / Mesic Oak
Approximately half of the uplands onsite are classified as Pine – Mesic Oak. Canopy
species consist of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), slash pine (Pinus elliotti), laurel oak
(Quercus laurifolia), water oak (Quercus nigra) and some live oak (Quercus virginiana).
Understory species include saw palmetto (Prunus serotina), shiny lyonia (Lyonia lucida),
galberry (Ilex glabra), grapevine (Vitus rotundifolia) and greenbriar (Smilax sp.).
421 – Xeric Oak
The remainder of the upland are consist of the Xeric Oak land use type. Tree species
include turkey oak (Quercus laevis) and sand live oak (Quercus geminata). Shrub and
groundcover species include saw palmetto, tarflower (Bejaria racemosa), rusty lyonia
(Lyonia ferruginea), broomsedge (Andropogon sp.) and wiregrass (Aristida stricta).
534 – Reservoirs Less Than 10 Acres In Size
There is a 6.3 acre borrow pit located in the center of the site. Vegetation present within
the borrow pit is limited to scattered fragrant water lily (Nymphaea odorata).
614 – Titi Swamp
Located along the periphery of most of the herbaceous wetlands are dense bands of titi
630 – Wetland Forested Mix
The forested wetland found across much of the northwest corner of the site is best
classified as Wetland Forested Mix. Canopy species include sweetbay (Magnolia
virginiana), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), dahoon holly (Ilex cassine), pond pine
(Pinus serotina), slash pine and water oak. Much of the understory has become infested
with grapevine and greenbriar. Dense pockets of shiny lyonia are scattered throughout as well.
641 – Freshwater Marsh
There are several wetland areas that are freshwater marsh communities. Vegetation
consists of fragrant water lily, broomsedge, redroot (Lacnanthes caroliana), southern cut
grass (Leersia hexandra), maidencane (Panicum hemitomon), pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata) and duck potato (Sagittaria lancifolia).
644 – Emergent Aquatic Vegetation
Mudd Lake and Grass Lake are best classified as Emergent Aquatic Vegetation. Vegetation consists primarily of fragrant water lily and spatterdock (Nuphar advena). These wetlands contain a moderate amount of open water.
818 – Auto Parking Facility
A small parking lot is located on the southern boundary of the property along Bali Boulevard.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 8.56 acres of waters of the United States for construction of the Bali Boulevard commercial resort 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:
“Deliberation was given to possible site layouts that provided for the intended onsite uses given the configuration of the parcel, the location, size and value of the wetlands and the need to provide efficient development space for an economically viable project.
Jurisdictional wetlands for proposed for impact include W3, W4, and the Borrow Pit. The total jurisdictional wetland impact area is 8.56 acres. Due to the location of these wetlands and with consideration of the current function of these systems, preserving and incorporating the subject wetlands into the post-development condition would achieve little in terms of environmental benefit.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“The Bali Boulevard project site lies within the Reedy Creek Drainage Basin. The current proposed development of the project site will result in a total of 8.56 acres of wetland and surface water impacts. The mitigation plan involves purchasing wetland mitigation credits from the Southport Mitigation Bank (SMB). The Southport Mitigation Bank lies within the Reedy Creek Drainage Basin. Because all mitigation will occur within the same drainage basin as the proposed impacts, no adverse cumulative impacts will occur as a result of this project. The functions provided by wetlands and uplands within the SMB will offset the loss of any forage for wetland-dependent species, cover and refuge, and nesting opportunities that are lost as a result of wetland impacts associated with the Bali Boulevard project.”
The Corps has not made an effect determination but is requesting a cultural resources assessment survey (CRAS) be conducted by an archeologist to identify and evaluate cultural resources within the proposed permit area. Upon receipt of the CRAS, the Corps will make an effect determination and 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.
Wood Stork: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork and its designated critical habitat. The Corps completed an evaluation of the project based upon the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) North Florida Ecological Services Field Offices Programmatic Concurrence for use with the Wood Stork (September 2008). Use of the Key for Wood Stork resulted in the following sequential determination: A (The project is more than 2,500 feet from a colony site.) > B (Project impacts SFH) >C (Impacts to SFH > 0.5 acres) >D (Project impacts to SFH within a Core Foraging Area of a colony site) >E (Project provides SFH compensation within the Service Area of a Service-approved wetland mitigation bank or wood stork conservation bank preferably within the CFA, or consists of SFH compensation within the CFA consisting of enhancement, restoration or creation in a project phased approach that provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH) = “not likely to adversely affect” for wood storks. The Corps has FWS concurrence for the proposed activities through the use of the aforementioned determination key.
Eastern Indigo Snake: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake and its designated critical habitat. Based upon review of the Corps and Service’s Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key (dated August 13, 2013), the proposed project resulted in the following sequential determination: A (The project is not located in open water or salt marsh.) >B (The permit will be conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and protection construction.) >C (There are gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities) >D (The project will impact less than 25 acres of xeric habitat supporting less than 25 active and inactive gopher tortoise burrows) >E (Permit will be conditioned such that all gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, will be evacuated prior to site manipulation in the vicinity of the burrow. If an indigo snake is encountered, the snake must be allowed to vacate the area prior to additional site manipulation in the vicinity. Any permit will be conditioned such that holes, cavities, and snake refugia other than gopher tortoise burrows will be inspected each morning before planned site manipulation of a particular area, and, if occupied by an indigo snake, no work will commence until the snake has vacated the vicinity of proposed work) = “not likely to adversely affect” for the Eastern indigo snake. The permit will be conditioned with the Standard Construction Guidelines for the Eastern Indigo Snake. No further consultation was required.
Based on existing habitat types, the Corps preliminarily determined the project will have no effect on Audubon’s Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus audubonii), Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis), sand skinks (Neoseps reynoldsi) and blue-tailed mole skinks (Eumeces egregious lividus).
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 8.56 acres of freshwater wetlands which ultimately discharge to Reedy Creek. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the downstream waters. 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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926, 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, Brandon J. Conroy, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (321) 504-3803; or, by telephone at (504) 321-3771 x11.
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 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.