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: Gateway 2012, LLC
c/o Passarella & Associates, Inc.
Attention: Lauren Edinger
13620 Metropolis Avenue, Suite 200
Fort Myers, Florida 33912
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project site is approximately one (1) mile north of Daniels Parkway, on the east side of Gateway Boulevard and abuts the north side of Griffin Drive, Lee County, Florida. The project would affect waters of the United States draining to the Orange River within the Lower Caloosahatchee River Frontal watershed (10 HUC # 0309020506).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 75 (I-75) take Exit 138 and head east on Daniels Parkway (HWY-82). Travel approximately 3 miles, then tum left/north onto Gateway Boulevard. The project site is approximately l mile north of Daniels Parkway, west of Gateway Boulevard and north of Griffin Drive.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 26.573402°
Basic: residential & commercial development.
Overall: Construct a multi-family residential development with commercial components, access roads, parking areas and other associated infrastructure east of I-75, in Lee County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 12.95 acre project site contains approximately 1.00 acre of disturbed freshwater forested wetlands (FLUCFCS Code 6109 E1), 0.55 acre of freshwater herbaceous/marsh wetlands (FLUCFCS Code 6419 E1), 0.04 acre of a freshwater lake (FLUCFCS Code 520) and a 0.20 acre ditch (FLUCFCS Code 5214). The remainder of the site is comprised of disturbed uplands. The onsite wetland canopy vegetation consists primarily of laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), dahoon holly (ilex cassine) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii). The wetland ground cover is dominated by Elliot’s yelloweyed grass (Xyris elliottii) and creeping primrose-willow (Ludwigia repens). Directly adjacent to the site are roads, residential and commercial developments. Undeveloped land borders the site to the east. A Corps authorization (Permit # SAJ-1990-04957) was issued in May of 1993 for a similar proposal at this site but it was never constructed.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to clear, grade, excavate and fill 1.55 acres of wetlands and 0.24 acre of other waters of the US. The project would discharge 7,500 cubic yards of fill into 1.55 acres wetlands and 1,160 cubic yards of fill into 0.24 acre of other waters of the US for the residential/commercial development.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant states the following in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:
The project site is comprised mostly (85%) of disturbed uplands. Similar work was previously authorized, at this site, but not constructed. That authorization has expired.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: No mitigation has been proposed.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review to the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the SHPO and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the project site.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The project site is within US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) designated consultation areas (CA) for the crested caracara (Polyborus plancus audubonii), Everglades snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), Red-cockaded woodpecker [(RCW) Picoides borealis] and the Florida bonneted bat [(FBB) Eumops floridanus]. The project site contains suitable habitat for the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) and is within nesting colony buffers (18.6 miles) for wood stork (Mycteria americana) colonies. The site is also in close proximity to Primary and Secondary Zones of a FWS designated Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) Focus Area.
The Corps will conduct programmatic consultation for t the indigo snake and initiate consultation, with the FWS, for all other species referenced above via a separate letter.
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 Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida, 33919, within 21 days from the date of this PN.
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 submitted in writing to the project manager, Robert Tewis, by mail to the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919; or via email at email@example.com; or faxed to (239)-334-0797. Phone number is (239)-334-1975 X-0012.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with the FWS, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS), 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 EPA Administrator, 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, to this PN, 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.