Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

SAJ-2018-00431 (SP-MRE)

Published Aug. 29, 2018
Expiration date: 9/18/2018
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:  Hart Resources, LLC
                       8051 Tara Lane
                      Jacksonville, Florida 32216

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Double Branch, a tributary to Little Black Creek. The project site is located contiguous to Kindlewood Drive (Clay County Property Appraiser Parcel Identification Numbers 007591-003-00, 007951-001-00, 007876-000-00, and 007948-001-00), in Section 17, Township 4 South, Range 25 East, Clay County, Florida.

                                                                          Longitude -81.821066°


Basic: The basic project purpose is residential development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is the establishment of a residential subdivision serving the Clay County housing market near the First Coast Expressway.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is approximately 61 acres in size and bisected by the future right-of-way of Oakleaf Plantation Parkway. The project site encompasses six vegetative communities characterized by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS).

Improved Pastures (FLUCFCS code 221): Most of the uplands comprise improved cow pasture. The dominant vegetation is Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) mixed with various upland weed species such as dog fennel (Eupatorium sp.), arrow leaf sida (Sida rhombifolia), and southern wood sorrel (Oxalis dillenii). The improved pasture contains widely scattered trees such as longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii).

Unimproved Pastures (FLUCFCS code 212): The southern half of the property contains areas of mixed improved pasture and wooded pasture. The wooded areas contain various pines as well as oaks such as turkey oak (Quercus laevis), live oak (Quercus virginiana), and water oak (Quercus nigra). The ground cover vegetation includes patches of Bahia grass mixed with areas of native ground cover including such species as wire grass (Aristida sp.), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), bitter gallberry (Ilex glabra), and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens).

Residential, Low Density (FLUCFCS code 110): Portions of the property contain single family houses, driveways, and adjacent areas of yard. Trees growing near the houses include live oak and water oak.

Wet Improved Pastures (FLUCFCS code 640): The northern half of the property contains areas of wet improved pasture. The vegetation in these areas is dominated by such species as torpedo grass (Panicum repens), carpet grass (Axonopus compressus), Asiatic coinwort (Centella asiatica), beakrush (Rhynchospora spp.), and spikerush (Eleocharis spp.). These areas historically were pond pine flatwoods on a seepage slope. During the rainy season, the water table is within 6 inches of the ground surface.

Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS code 630): The deepest wetlands onsite comprise forested wetlands connected to Double Branch. The deeper areas have a canopy dominated by such species as blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora), pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens), and red maple (Acer rubrum). The more transitional areas have a canopy containing slash pine, red maple, laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), water oak, and loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus). The understory and ground cover vegetation include such species as myrtle leaf holly (Ilex myrtifolia), fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), sweet gallberry (Ilex coriacea), cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolata), Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), royal fern (Osmunda regalis), and sphagnum moss (Sphagnum sp.).

Drainage Ditch (FLUCFCS code 510): The property contains a section of upland-cut drainage ditch that is periodically maintained.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill over a total of 0.59 acre of wetlands and 0.07 acre of drainage features (ditches) to facilitate the establishment of a residential subdivision.

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 investigated five potential sites (including the chosen site). The other sites were either not available; or, in order to establish a residential subdivision, would likely result in additional work affecting wetlands. The applicant originally designed the project without work affecting wetlands. After receiving initial approval of a site plan from Clay County, the applicant was informed by the County of the planned extension of Oakleaf Plantation Parkway through the property. The applicant then redesigned the project around this future road right-of-way. A small amount of impact (0.11 acre total) is proposed to wetlands at the back of six lots. These lots are required to recover the costs of development due to the change in the site plan. Development of a required neighborhood park involves work affecting 0.04 acre of wetlands. Construction of one of the stormwater treatment ponds requires work affecting 0.44 acre of wetlands. The development design also eliminates the upland-cut, man-made ditch (0.07 acre). The project design, however, avoids work affecting the higher-quality forested wetlands.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

The applicant’s ecological agent submitted a Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure (WRAP) quantifying and qualifying the potential loss of wetland functions and services associated with the work proposed. The WRAP calculated the functional loss as 0.19 units. Therefore, the applicant proposed the purchase of 0.19 WRAP credits from the Loblolly 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. Florida Archaeological Services, Incorporated completed a Cultural Resource Assessment Survey of the property; and, did not identify any historic resources listed in, or eligible for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places.


Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): Eastern Indigo Snake frequents several habitat types, including pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, high pine, dry prairie, tropical hardwood hammocks, edges of freshwater marshes, agricultural fields, coastal dunes, and human-altered habitats. Therefore, this species could utilize the area encompassed by the ESA scope of analysis for this project. Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows are commonly utilized as refuge from winter cold and/or desiccating conditions in xeric habitats; and, hollowed root channels, hollow logs, or burrows of rodents, armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or land crabs (Cardisoma guanhumi) provide shelter in wetter habitats. The project site encompasses less than 25 acres of xeric habitat; and, a preliminary assessment of gopher tortoise burrows identified less than 25 active/inactive burrows. In consideration of the potential presence of eastern indigo snake habitat, the Corps utilized The Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, August 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-D-E-may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, as the applicant has agreed to implement the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake, August 12, 2013. The FWS has indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the key for eastern indigo snakes; and, that no additional consultation is necessary.

The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.

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 would not affect marine and/or estuarine habitat or EFH. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries in the Double Branch. 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 Corps has not verified the proposed extent of wetlands nor the proposed jurisdictional line.

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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 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, Mark R. Evans, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at; by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1940; or, by telephone at (904)232-2028.

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.
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.