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: The Mayflower Retirement Center Inc.
1620 Mayflower Court
Winter Park, FL 32792
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the St. Johns River. The project site is located northeast of the intersection of Aloma Avenue (CR 426) and Mayflower Court on the remaining undeveloped portion of land, in Section 4, Township 22 South, Range 30 East, Winter Park, Orange County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Aloma Avenue (west of Balfour Drive) take Mayflower Court north, parcel is northwest of existing nursing unit.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 28.6058°
Basic: Commercial facility.
Overall: Construct an additional phase of the Mayflower Court assisted living and health care facility adjacent to the existing facility, Winter Park, Seminole, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The site is currently composed of three habitat types: Undeveloped Urban Land (Uplands), Ditches (Other Surface Waters), and Mixed Hardwood Wetlands (Wetland) and is completely surrounded by development. The entire site will be developed. The wetland has been hydrologically altered by surrounding development as the system was historically hydrated by sheet flow, which has been routed to existing ditches. In addition, the wetland contains exotic and nuisance species in every strata, therefore decreasing the functional value of the system.
The project area contains a man-made ditch and swale system which was created for overall drainage purposes. This system appears to include portions that are both upland-cut (0.02 ac) and historically wetland-cut (0.11 ac). The northern east-west ditch does not contain vegetation as it is regularly inundated; however, the southern east-west ditch is generally dry and contains Boston fern along the toe of slope. The easternmost southern segments of the ditch, adjacent to the property boundary, contain primrose willow, and cattail.
There is one forested wetland system on-site, dominated by a canopy of camphor tree, sweet bay, and red maple, with small clumps of cabbage palm and a few slash pine. Understory vegetation is predominately invasive exotics and includes wild taro, giant taro, Boston fern, and air potato, with pockets of native vegetation consisting of blackberry, grapevine, Virginia creeper, and elderberry). The western portion of the site exhibits a typical edge effect with additional exotic species such as bamboo, waxleaf privet and balsam pear.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material into 4.73 acre of waters of the United States (4.60 acres of wetlands and 0.13 acre of other waters) to expand the existing facilities.
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 Mayflower Retirement Community has been at its current location for nearly 30 years. Over this time, the community of residents and the need for assisted living and health care facilities has been growing. Over this same period, the last remaining surrounding parcels were also being developed. Today, there are only two available parcels in proximity to the existing facility; the original parcel permitted under SAJ-2007-03752 and the additional proposed expansion area parcel. As Mayflower is an established community that cannot move to another location, the growing needs of this type of facility must utilize the remaining adjacent parcels. That said, the proposed development plan must now utilize the limited size of these parcels.
As part of the process for the avoidance and minimization of wetland impacts, the additional parcel was chosen, not only because it is the last remaining parcel, but because the onsite wetlands are so severely degraded that the loss of wetland functional value will be minimal. The hydrology of the site has been impacted for decades by the surrounding developments and extensive ditching, and the vegetation component contains invasive exotic species. These previous impacts have resulted in very low-quality wetland systems with limited function and limited habitat for protected species. Because these wetlands have already been impacted and are of such low quality, it is highly practical to utilize this area for the expansion of the project and the additional treatment of stormwater. This project will also help eliminate much of the invasive exotic seed source within the project area.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Purchase federally approved credits from the TM-Econ 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 property is located within the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) Consultation Area for the eastern indigo snake, wood stork, Florida scrub-jay, Everglades snail kite, and sand skink. The proposed work area does not contain habitat suitable for Florida scrub-jay, Everglades snail kite, or sand skink. None of these species were observed within the proposed project area. The Corps has determined the proposed work would have no effect to Florida scrub-jay, Everglades snail kite, or sand skink.
The Corps completed an evaluation of the project based upon the August 13, 2013 updated addendum to the January 2010 North and South Florida Ecological Services Field Offices Programmatic Concurrence for use with the Eastern Indigo Snake. Use of the Key for the Eastern Indigo Snake resulted in the following sequential determination: A (The project is not located in open water or salt marsh.) >B (The permit will be conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and construction.) >C (There are no gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities.) = Not Likely to Adversely Affect (NLAA) with the applicant adherence to the standard protection measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake. Based upon the NLAA determination for the Eastern Indigo Snake no further coordination is required.
Based upon review of the Wood Stork Key for Central and North Peninsular Florida dated September 2008, the proposed project resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D > E = “Not likely to adversely affect” the wood stork. This determination is based on the project not being located within 2,500 feet of an active colony site; impacts to suitable foraging habitat (SFH), project impacts to SFH are greater than 0.5 acre, project impacts to SFH are within the CFA of a colony site, or wood storks have been documented foraging on a project site outside the CFA, project provides SFH compensation in accordance with the Clean Water Act section 404(b)(1) guidelines and is not contrary to the Habitat Management Guidelines; habitat compensation is within the appropriate CFA or within the service area of a Service-approved mitigation bank.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): The proposed work would have no effect to EFH.
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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 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, Andrew Phillips, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (321)504-3803; or, by telephone at (321)504-3771 extension 14.
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.