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: Turnbull Land, LLC
Mr. David Aiken
3715 Northside Parkway NW, Bldg 400-200
Atlanta, GA 30327-2874
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The Turnbull Trace project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Rose Bay-Spruce Creek Frontal Hydrologic Basin (10-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (0308020101)). The project site is located north of Jungle Road, east of Otter Boulevard, west of Hammond Street and south along Pioneer Trail in Sections 13 and 43, Townships 17S, Range 33E, New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of I-95 and SR 44, travel east on SR 44 approximately 1.8 miles, to the intersection with Jungle Road, turn north onto Jungle Road and travel until the road turns to the east and pass Otter Boulevard. The site is on the north side of the road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Residential Development.
Overall: Residential Development near the I-95 and SR 44 corridor in Volusia County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area currently includes the following land use types/vegetative communities:
411 – Pine Flatwoods: This community is found over a portion of uplands on site, and is dominated by Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) in the canopy. The subcanopy consists of a mix of Wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), Cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), and juvenile canopy species. The groundcover is dominated by Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens), with other components of Gallberry (Ilex glabra), Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), and juvenile canopy and subcanopy species.
414 – Pine – Mesic Oak: This community is found over a portion of uplands on site, and is dominated by Live oaks (Quercus virginiana), Laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia) and Slash pine in the canopy. The subcanopy consists of a mix of Wax myrtle, Cabbage palm, and juvenile canopy species. The groundcover is dominated by Saw Palmetto, with other components of Gallberry, Bracken fern, and juvenile canopy and subcanopy species.
427 - Live Oak: This community is found in the uplands that are on site, and is dominated by mature Live oaks in the canopy. There are some minor amounts of other species also present in this community, including Laurel oak, Pignut Hickory (Carya glaba), and Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). The subcanopy consists of Cabbage palm, Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria), and Wax Myrtle. The groundcover is scattered with Saw Palmetto, Gallberry, Bracken fern, and juvenile canopy and subcanopy species.
510 – Streams and Waterways: This category is for the areas of Turnbull Creek which pass through the project site on the west side property.
617 – Mixed Wetland Hardwoods: This community is found over a portion of the wetlands on site, and is dominated by Red maple (Acer rubrum), Laurel Oak, Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) in the canopy. The subcanopy consists of a mix of Cabbage palm and juvenile canopy species. The groundcover is dominated by juvenile Cabbage palm and various ferns such as Shield fern (Thelypteris spp.), Chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), and Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea).
642 – Saltwater Marsh: This community is found over a portion of the wetlands on site and is located adjacent to portions of Turnbull Creek which pass through the project site. The vegetation is dominated primarily by high marsh species such as Needle rush (Juncus roemerianus), Groundsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia), Sumpweed (Iva frutescens), Annual Fringe-rush (Fimbristylis annua), Sea-oxeye (Borrichia frutescens), Swamp Spider-lily (Hymenocallis sp.), Leather Fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium) and Seashore Paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum).
743 – Spoil Areas: This category is found over a portion of the uplands on site and is located just east of Turnbull Creek located on the west side of the site. The canopy and subcanopy is dominated by Southern Red Cedar (Juniperus silicicola), Cabbage palm and Wax myrtle. The groundcover within the area is minimal but is dominated by the juvenile canopy and subcanopy species listed above.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 2.748 acres of waters of the United States (2.62 acres of wetlands, 0.128 acres of surface water (ditch)) to construct the 308-lot Turnbull Trace residential development. The construction includes residential lots, stormwater management ponds, and infrastructure. The applicant is seeking a 10 year permit.
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 proposed site plan layout has been designed to avoid higher quality wetlands to the greatest extent possible while still maintaining a financially feasible and functional project for the property. Impacts to wetland areas are necessary and unavoidable to enable the construction of internal access roadways as well as access into the property; however the lot layout has been designed to avoid the higher quality wetlands. There has also been an overall reduction in the number of lots from 314 to 308. Additionally, large tracts of additional upland buffer has been proposed for preservation that could otherwise be developed in order to further protect sensitive, high value wetlands on site.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“The mitigation to offset the adverse effects from all unavoidable impacts will require the purchase of off-site federal credits from Farmton Mitigation Bank.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: 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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, wood stork (Mycteria americana) and Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi).
The proposed activity is not within the Core Foraging Area (CFA) of a wood stork rookery; the project supports marginally Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida (dated September 2008), the Corps determination sequence was A>B>C>D>E = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. The determination is supported by SFH compensation provided within the service area of a mitigation bank, and provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH; and is not contrary to the Service’s “Habitat Management Guidelines for the Wood Stork in the Southeast Region”. No further consultation is required.
Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Effect Determination Key (dated January 25, 2010; August 13, 2013 Addendum), the Corps determination sequence resulted in A>B>C = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. This determination is based on the project not being located in open water, the applicant adhering to the “Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake” (dated August 12, 2013) and the absence of gopher tortoise, holes, and refugia within the work area where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities. No further consultation is required.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.
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. 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 is required from the SJRWMD.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District through the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926 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, John Palmer, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926, by electronic mail at John.Palmer@usace.army.mil, by fax at (321) 504-3803, or by telephone at (321) 504-3771, extension 10.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat
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 of 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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.