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) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Edward Park
C/o Timothy Steeves (TEC, LLC)
3899 Mannix Drive, Suite 409
Naples, FL 34114
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect 0.53 acre of Freshwater Forested/Shrub Wetlands within the Estero Bay Drainage Basin and the Greater Big Cypress Swamp Watershed (HUC 10 – 0309020401). The project site is located at 14670 Metro Parkway, in Section 30, Township 45 South, Range 26 East, Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-75 take Exit 93 (Immokalee Road); turn left and head east; at the first traffic light make a right onto Tarpon Bay Road; continue on for 1 mile and turn left onto Spanish Oaks Lane; continue on for 200 feet and the project site is on the left, at the northwest corner of Spanish Oaks Lane and Oakes Boulevard.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 26.2647°
Basic: The basic project purpose is to construct a single family residence.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a 49’ x 104’ single family residence, driveway, and well and septic system within 0.53 acre of wetlands.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project would directly impact 0.53 acre of low quality wetlands dominated by Red maple (Acer rubrum), Bald cypress (Taxodium sp.), Swamp bay (Persea palustris) and Swamp fern (Blechnum serrulatum). The area of the proposed project was heavily impacted by hurricane Irma resulting in a diminishing of cypress canopy and impaired regeneration. The project site is located in an area that is considered a transitioning FLUCCS 621 Cypress Forest. The site's relatively low elevation coupled with the surrounding artificially filled areas result in the site acting as a stormwater management system for the surrounding vicinity. This has disrupted the historically long, steady hydroperiod of sheet flow resulting in short, rapid inundations and dry spells.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place 3,758 cubic yards of clean fill in 0.53 acre wetlands for the construction of a single family residence, driveway, and well and septic 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 applicant owns a 3.03 acre parcel that consists of 2.47 acres of wetlands. The remaining 0.56 acre of parcel consists of uplands. Of the 0.56 acre of uplands, 0.4 is located along roadways and within right-of-ways; the remaining 0.16 acre of uplands is located at the southeast corner of the parcel. In order to avoid the impacts to the entire 2.47 acres of wetlands the applicant proposes to construct the single family residence within the vast majority of the upland area, or southeast corner of the parcel, resulting in unavoidable impacts to 0.53 acre of wetlands, leaving 1.94 acres of wetlands undisturbed.
The applicant proposes to avoid additional impacts by eliminating the use of an onsite borrow area for the placement of the fill material, the fill will be purchased and trucked in from an offsite, permitted location.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
Since the project would result in unavoidable impacts to 0.53 acre of wetlands, offsite mitigation is being proposed. Offsite mitigation is determined utilizing the appropriate methodology for the designated offsite area or Mitigation Bank. The site is located within the service area of the Panther Island Expansion bank, therefore the purchasing of 0.3 freshwater mitigation credits from this bank is proposed.
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 executed a Resource at Risk (RAR) report. The RAR indicated that the site may be utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, federally listed threatened or endangered species. The site will be reviewed further for potential critical habitat and presence of endangered species and the findings will be coordinated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Potential federally listed species that may be present within the project area include the:
Everglades snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis)
Florida bonnetted bat (Eumops floridanus)
Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)
Wood stork (Mycteria Americana)
Red-cockaded woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis)
Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi)
Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway)
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 project is located within freshwater wetlands not contiguous to surface waters, therefore no impacts to essential fish habitat are anticipated. 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 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 Blvd., Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919 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, Michelle Bartley, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd., Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919 or by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by telephone at (239) 334-1975 ext. 0006.
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 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 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.