US Army Corps of Engineers
Jacksonville District

Public Notice Notifications

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SAJ-2018-02602 (SP-RMT)

Published Oct. 24, 2018
Expiration date: 11/21/2018

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 (DA) permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:

APPLICANT: GA-Pinnacle Cape Coral, LLC
                      c/o Passarella & Associates, Inc.
                      Attention: Lauren Edinger
                     13620 Metropolis Avenue, Suite 200
                     Fort Myers, Florida 33912

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project site is east of Burnt Store Road and north of Wilmington Parkway within Section 27, Township 43 South, Range 23 East, in northwest Cape Coral, Lee County, Florida. The approximate 1,495.95 acre project site contains freshwater herbaceous and forested wetlands as well as other waters of the US, within the North Matlacha Pass Frontal Watershed (HUC-12 # 031001030104).

Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 75, take Exit 161 onto Jones Loop Road/FL-768. Head west then south on Jones Loop Road. Jones Loop Road becomes Burnt Store Road/CR-765. The project site is located on the east side of Burnt Store Road, approximately l 1.8 miles south of the intersection of Tamiami Trail/US-41 with
Jones Loop Road and approximately 5.4 miles north of Pine Island Road/SR-78.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 26.7206º; Longitude: - 82.01569º

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: Housing.

Overall: Construct a single family residential community with multiple preserve areas, amenities, access roads, driveways, designed stormwater management systems, and other associated infrastructure in northwest Lee County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site contains 703.65± acres of wetlands, 1.61± acres of other waters of the U.S., and 791.69± acres of uplands. As a result of altered degraded hydrology, and other disturbances, the on-site wetlands are disturbed, infested to varying degrees with exotic invasive plant species including melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), downy rose-myrtle (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa), earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis), torpedograss (Panicum repens), West Indian marsh grass (Hymenachne amplexicaulis), and Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks DA authorization to clear, grade, excavate, and dredge. The proposal would result in direct impacts to177.09± acres of freshwater wetlands and 1.31± acres of other waters of the U.S. for the purpose of constructing and maintaining a residential community. The proposed project would discharge approximately 720,300 cubic yards of fill into 148.82+ acres of wetlands and 5,700 cubic yards of fill into 1.18+ acres of other waters of the U.S. The project would also excavate 456,100 cubic yards of native materials from 28.27+ acres of wetlands and 2,100 cubic yards of native materials from 0.13+ acre of other waters of the U.S.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION: The applicant states that wetland impacts were avoided and minimized to the maximum extent practicable. The majority of the project footprint is within upland areas. The most disturbed wetlands adjacent to the upland areas were selected for the unavoidable wetland impacts. The higher quality wetlands areas are to be enhanced and preserved.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The mitigation plan includes the enhancement and preservation of 526.56± acres of wetlands, 0.30± acre of other waters of the U.S., and 96.27± acres of uplands. The preserve uplands are comprised mostly of upland areas intermixed with preserve wetlands. The preserve uplands include 26.35± acres of buffers.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is unaware of any known historic properties within the review area. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the SHPO and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the project site.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The project site is located in an area where the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), an ESA listed species, may occur. Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, as amended 2013, the proposed work key’s as follows: (A., B., C., D., E.) If a DA permit is issued for this application, the Eastern Indigo Snake Protection Measure would be incorporated into that permit. Therefore, the Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” (MANLAA) the indigo snake and no further consultation action is required with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for this determination.

The project site contains suitable foraging habitat for the wood stork (Mycteria americana) and is within wood stork core foraging areas (CFA). In accordance with the South Florida Programmatic Wood Stork Key the proposal keys as follows: A., B., C., E. The Corps determined the project MANLAA the wood stork and no further consultation with the FWS is required for this determination.

The project site is within the FWS designated consultation area for the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). The project site does not contain any scrub jay type habitat. The nearest identified scrub jay type habitat is approximately 1.17 miles northeast of the northeast corner of project site. The Corps preliminary determination is that the project MANLAA the scrub jay and will request concurrence from the FWS for this determination.

The project site is located within a FWS designated consultation area for the red-cockaded woodpecker [(RCW) Piciodes borealis] an ESA listed species. No known historic RCW nesting has been identified within the project site. The closest documented RCW nest (#665) is located approximately 0.34 mile northeast of the eastern boundary of the project site. The Corps preliminary determination is that the proposal MANLAA the RCW and the Corps will request concurrence from the FWS for this determination.

The project is within a consultation area for the ESA listed Florida bonneted bat [(FBB) Eumops floridanus]. The site is greater than 5 acres with more than 1 acre of FBB habitat types: therefore the Corps preliminary determination is that the proposal “may affect” the FBB. The Corps will request the FWS to initiate formal consultation for FBB pursuant to Section 7 of ESA, for the proposed project, via a separate letter.

NOTE: This public notice (PN) 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 wetland jurisdictional lines have not been formally verified by Corps personnel.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or the South Florida Water Management District.

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 Boulevard Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida, 33919, within 21 days from the date of this PN.

The decision whether to issue or deny a permit for this application will be based on the information received and the evaluation of the probable impacts 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 submitted in writing to the project manager, Robert Tewis, by mail to the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida 33919; or via email at robert.m.tewis@usace.army.mil; or faxed to (239)-334-0797. Phone number is (239)-334-1975 X-0012.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with FWS, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services (NMFS), and other Federal, State, and local resource 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 of whether to issue a permit will be based on the evaluation of probable impacts including cumulative effects 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 EPA Administrator, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act and/or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A DA permit will be authorized unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

The Corps is soliciting comments, to this PN, 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, a 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.