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: NE 32nd Street LLC
5455 Via Delray
Delray Beach, Florida 33484
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located within wetlands and open waters adjacent to the Intracoastal Waterway, in Section 16 and 17, Township 47 South, Range 43 East, Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 exit at Spanish River Boulevard and head east to S. Federal Highway and turn right. Take S. Federal Highway to NE 32nd Street to the end of the street. The Site is located on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is for residential development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is for a residential development with water access in eastern Palm Beach County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The approximate 5.01-acre site consists of 1.21 acres saltwater mangrove area. The site also contains 3.10 acres open water system with mixed substrate consisting of algae, muck, sand, and 0.64 acres of seagrasses. The onsite emergent vegetation consists of red and white mangroves. The submerged seagrass beds consists of 5-40 percent coverage including Halophila johnsonii, Halophila decipiens, and Syringodium filiforme. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of developed homes to the north, south and east with a City park on the west side of the ICW.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to authorization to place fill over approximately 1.104 acres of mangroves, 0.64 acre of seagrasses, and 3.10 acres of open water for the construction of a five-lot residential development. The applicant proposes to construct a new 716 linear foot concrete seawall along the perimeter of the project boundary and fill behind. The proposed seawall will include the installation of 81 concrete batter piles with a 36-inch seawall cap.
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 has not provided avoidance and minimization for the onsite resources based on the site being subject to continual erosion.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
In order to offset the impact, the applicant proposes to place into conservation easement, 4.805 acres of this submerged lands located adjacent to Munyon Island and John D. Macarthur State Park, the protection of 0.23 acres of mangroves along the shoreline, and the purchase of 0.6 credits at Everglades 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 the endangered and threatened swimming seaturtles (Chelonia mydas, Eretmochelys imbricata, Lepidochelys kempii, Dermochelys coriacea, Caretta caretta), the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and the endangered West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and is not likely to adversely modify any designated critical habitat. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposal may affect Halophila johnsonii. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any 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. [INCLUDE IF APPROPRIATE] The proposal would impact approximately 1.104 acres of mangrove habitat, 0.64 acres of mixed seagrass substrate, and 3.10 acres of open water utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. 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 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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 within 30 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, Samantha L. Rice, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at Samantha.L.Rice@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (561)626-6971; or, by telephone at (561)767-0669.
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.