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: Continental 425 Fund LLC
Ms. Elizabeth Adler
W134 N8675 Executive Parkway
Menomonee Fall, WI 53051
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Middle Spruce Creek Hydrologic Basin (12-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (030802010102)). The project site is north of S.R. 421 (Taylor Road), south of Williamson Blvd., and northwest of Summer Trees Rd, in Section 18, Township 16 South, Range 33 East, Port Orange, Volusia County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95, take SR 421 west to Williamson Blvd., then turn north and continue on Williamson Blvd to the intersection with Summer Trees Road, the site is on the left (west side of road).
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Multi-family residential development
Overall: Multi-family residential development in the Port Orange area west of I-95, Volusia County, Florida.
HISTORY: This project was previously permitted under permit number SAJ-2008-00837 (SP-TSB) on December 4, 2008. The permit authorized fill in 5.6 acres of waters of the US; with mitigation which consisted of the purchase of 4.0 mitigation bank credits at the Farmton Mitigation Bank. That 2008 permit expired and a new permit is required. Half of the project was constructed, however, the mitigation credits for the entire project were purchased. The jurisdictional determination for the project included several isolated wetlands that were not jurisdictional to the Corps. A new jurisdictional determination was completed and some of the wetlands that were isolated before are now jurisdictional.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site (30± acres) consists of the following vegetative communities: Pasture lands, pine flatwoods, cypress/pine/cabbage palm mix, ditches, and disturbed wet prairie. The pine flatwoods are dominated by Slash pine, Saw palmetto, gallberry, and typical groundcover species. The wetland communities are dominated by their classification species (i.e. cypress/pine/cabbage palm mix). The project contains approximately 3.88 acres of wetlands and 0.4 acres of surface waters (ditch). Most of the property is in pasture and regularly maintained.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 3.23 acres of waters of the United States (2.83 acres of wetlands and 0.4 acres of surface waters) to construct a multi-family residential apartment complex including infrastructure (roadways and stormwater management system).
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 entire site was previously permitted by the Corps and went through the avoidance and minimization process at that time. This new request merely asks for the same amount of impact previously authorized. The mitigation has been purchased. All best management practices for erosion control and turbidity will be adhered to.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“Any additional mitigation which may be required will be provided through the purchase of federal mitigation bank credits.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. 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, the wood stork (Mycteria americana) and Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi).
The proposed project site is not within a 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 = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. The determination is supported by SFH compensation provided by the enhancement, restoration or creation of SFH in a project phased approach that provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of the impacted SFH (consistent with the Wood Stork Foraging Habitat Assessment Procedure); 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>D>E = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. This determination results from there being less than 25 acres of xeric habitat, and fewer than 25 active/inactive gopher tortoise burrows, on the project site. All gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, will be evacuated prior to site manipulation in the burrow vicinity. The permittee agrees to use the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake (dated August 12, 2013). 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 not been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification will be required from the St. Johns River Water Management District.
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.