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: Suburban Land Reserve
5 Triad Center, Suite 325
Salt Lake City, Utah 84180
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The 2,397-acre International Corporate Park (ICP) project is located in Orange County, Florida (Sections 25 and 36, Township 23 South, Range 31 East; Sections 31, Township 23 South, Range 32 East; Section 1, Township 24 South, Range 31 East; Section 6, Township 24 South, Range 32 East). The project area is located partially within the Econlockhatchee River Drainage Basin and the Wide Cypress Creek basin that drains into Lake Hart and Lake Mary Jane. The project site lies partially within the jurisdictional boundaries of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD).
Directions to the site are as follows: From SR 417, proceed east on SR 528 approximately four miles, turn south onto International Corporate Park Boulevard.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: mixed-use development
Overall: The overall purpose of this project is mixed-use development, including industrial, commercial, residential and other (e.g., schools, parks, green space) land uses, within the ICP Development of Regional Impact (DRI) boundary in Orange County, Florida.
HISTORY: This project was previously public notice on August 23, 2010. ICP was approved as a DRI by the Orange County Commission in 1986, thereby providing land use entitlements for over 20 million square feet of industrial development. The ICP project site is situated on the Innovation way Corridor, a high-tech oriented economic development center envisioned for the central Florida region, and will be bisected by Innovation Way. A substantial deviation to the DRI was submitted in 2008 replacing much of the industrial use with high-wage office and research park space, to be supported by executive and town homes, apartments, schools, parks and a mixed-use village center. The Sunbridge Parkway connects from the interchange on SR 528 and is proposed to run through ICP south into Osceola County. Portions of Sunbridge Parkway external to ICP are under Corps review (SAJ-2017-03135) with a public notice date of May 24, 2018.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: A previously approved jurisdictional determination defined 865 acres of federally jurisdictional wetlands, 24.48 acres of non-jurisdictional wetlands and 18.6 acres of non-jurisdictional surface waters on the project site. Wetland communities include lakes, reservoirs, reservoirs less than 10 acres, bay swamps, gum swamps, mixed wetland hardwoods, cypress (dominant wetland covertype), pond pine hydric pine flatwoods, wetland forested mixed, freshwater marshes, wet prairies and mixed scrub-shrub wetland. Upland land uses include light industrial, other institutional, improved pasture, herbaceous, shrub and brushland (dominant upland covertype), palmetto prairies, mixed rangeland, mesic flatwoods, longleaf sandhill, oak sandhill, live oak, sand live oak, hardwood-conifer mixed, disturbed land, roads and highways, and electrical power transmission lines.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant requests a 20-year Department of the Army permit for construction of a proposed mixed-use development to include mixed industrial, commercial and residential land uses, including single and multi-family development, on the project. Additional land uses on-site will consist of natural lands conservation, open green space, parks, and schools. The project, as designed, proposes to fill 120.43-acres of waters of the United States (WoUS). Approximately 16.7 acres of non-jurisdictional WoUS are also proposed to be filled.
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:
“Impacts to wetlands and other surface waters could not be completely avoided through the site planning process due to the extent and configuration of on-site wetlands, and the requirement under Orange County Innovation Way Policies that dictate compact urban form development following new urbanites and traditional neighborhood design, and multimodal transportation.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“A key component of the Innovation Way policies was the adoption of an Environmental Land Stewardship Program (ELSP). The ELSP is an environmental protection tool, the goals of which are to provide additional buffers along the Econlockhatchee River, crossings for wildlife and water conveyance, provision for wildlife corridors and habitat protection on environmentally sensitive lands. As part of an overall mitigation plan for the ICP project site under the ELSP, a number of factors have addressed in the development of the comprehensive Conservation Mitigation/Wildlife Management Plan (CMWMP), which will provide the required compensatory mitigation to offset the proposed impacts. The 1988 CMWMP for ICP was submitted and approved by federal, state, and county regulatory agencies and departments as a requirement of the 1986 Development Order (DO). The overall management goals and objectives of the proposed CMWMP for the project include:
• improve and preserve the vegetative communities of on-site upland and wetland complexes;
• improve hydrology and water quality within project area wetlands associated with Lake Hart and tributaries of the Econlockhatchee River; and,
• provide increased functions and values to wildlife through preservation of habitat linkages.
This landscape approach to mitigation not only ensures that viable local environmental communities are sustained on the site during and after development, but it also conserves regional biodiversity by maintaining the ecological connections between off-site regional conservation lands such as the Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park to the northeast, the Orange County ELSP lands associated with Turkey Creek and the Econlockhatchee River to the east, and Crosby Island and Split Oak Forest Mitigation Park to the south. Implementation of the proposed CMWMP will increase the ecological importance of the
The CMWMP proposes to conserve existing wetland communities and adjacent upland communities through implementation of management activities that will support adjacent uplands and historic wetland community conditions that have been impacted to various degrees by long-term silvicultural and agricultural activities. Preservation of conservation area wetlands within the three main wetland strand systems on the project site provides a basis for habitat corridor creation and enhancement. Currently, the proposed mitigation and management areas on the ICP project site includes approximately 917.82 acres property-wide, incorporating 138.02 acres already under Conservation Easements/Conservation Areas (CE/CA) from previously permitted projects within the vicinity of the ICP project site. Therefore, the proposed ICP project will preserve an additional 779.78 acres for mitigation and management, which includes 648.12 acres of wetlands and 131.66 acres of uplands.”
A cultural resource assessment survey (CRAS) was required and a CRAS report was finalized September 2013. The State Historic Preservation Officer concurred with the Corps No Effect determination on June 20, 2018. The Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Historic Preservation Officer indicated no objection to the project by letter dated June 22, 2018.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The applicant indicated no federally listed plant species occur on the project site. The Corps has completed preliminary federally listed species affect determinations which include the following:
The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” (NLAA) wood stork (Mycteria Americana). The proposed activity is within the Core Foraging Area (CFA) of two rookeries; the project supports Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. The Corps completed an evaluation of the project based upon the U.S. 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 (Project impacts to SFH greater than or equal to 0.5 acres.) > D (Project impacts to SFH are within the Core Foraging Area of a colony site) > E (The determination is supported by SFH compensation provided within the service area of a mitigation bank which covers the CFA and/or provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH; is not contrary to the Service’s Habitat Management Guidelines For The Wood Stork In The Southeast Region and in accordance with the CWA Section 404(b)(1) guidelines) = NLAA. The Corps has FWS concurrence for the proposed activities through the use of the aforementioned determination key.
The FWS concurred with a Corps’ NLAA determination for Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) by email dated January 7, 2011. Concurrence was conditional, requiring the applicant to perform pedestrian surveys according to the survey protocol. FWS also concurred with NLAA determinations for red-cockaded woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis) and Audubon’s crested caracara (Polyborus plancus audubonii).
Based on existing habitat types and/or provided survey information, the Corps preliminarily determined the project will have no effect on Bluetail mole skink (Eumeces egregious lividus) and Sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi), Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), and Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens).
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 120.4 acres of freshwater wetlands and surface waters which ultimately discharge to the Kissimmee River. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on downstream EFH or Federally managed fisheries. 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 (NMFS).
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 will be required from the St. Johns River and South Florida 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 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, Jeffrey S. Collins, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section (address above), by electronic mail at Jeffrey.firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (321) 504-3771.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with USFWS, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 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 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.
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.