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.


Published Nov. 19, 2018
Expiration date: 12/19/2018

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: M&M Realty Partners
160 Essex Street, Suite 200
Lodi, NJ 07644

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated within the South Fork of the St. Lucie River sub-watershed (HUC 030902060502), in the St Lucie River and Estuary watersheds. The site is located within Township 38S, Range 41E, Section 16. More precisely, the project site is located east of Kanner Highway and the South Fork of the St Lucie River, between Indian Street (to the south) and Monterey Road (to the north), and west of Willoughby Boulevard, in the City of Stuart, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Proceed on I-95 to the Kanner Highway exit (SR 76) and proceed northeast on Kanner Highway approximately four miles. The project site is located on the east side of Kanner Highway.


Latitude:     27.165839°
Longitude: -80.248295°


Basic: The basic project purpose is to construct a commercial development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a commercial development to serve the Stuart area in Martin County.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 29.4 +/- acre project site is comprised of agricultural, rural residential, and undeveloped lands. The property includes several agricultural buildings, sheds, and herbaceous open space, several single family residences, a fruit tree grove, undeveloped forested areas, and several Section 404 wetland areas and non-wetland waters (excavated ponds and ditches). The 29.4 +/- acre project site contains 3.3 +/- acres of Wetland Waters of the U.S. and 1.1 acres of Non-Wetland Waters of the U.S. in the form of drainage ditches and excavated water bodies.

The project site has been altered from its natural state by historic use and management of the property that have resulted in several improved herbaceous open areas and exotic vegetation monocultures such as napier grass fields, Australian pine and melaleuca stands. As the hydrologic regime of the site has been historically altered to accommodate agricultural activities, residential use, and regional drainage, the wetland systems found on site exhibit signs of hydrologic alteration from drainage ditches and nearby excavations.

The remaining natural areas are pine flatwoods and have been encroached by numerous invasive exotic species due to the adjacent historic land uses and suppression of the natural fire regime.

The surrounding areas are comprised of undeveloped lands, rural residential lots, and residential lots.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes construction of a commercial planned development on 29.4+/- acres to include a retail store with associated parking and fueling facilities as well as commercial development outparcels for stand-alone retail and/or or restaurant uses. The project entails impacts to 1.1 +/- acres of Non-Wetland Waters of the U.S. and 3.3 +/- acres of Wetland Waters of the U.S. The proposed construction elements include access roads, a retail store, commercial outparcels, associated parking and travel areas, and a stormwater retention pond.

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 project requires compact areas of development to accommodate a large warehouse style retail building and associated parking areas. Associated outparcel commercial development supports the larger anchor store. While every effort was made during the site selection process to select a project site with no wetland waters, there are no such sites in the area that meet all the site selection criteria and would offer 30 +/- acres of contiguous uplands. The compact nature of the proposed site development plan avoids and minimizes impacts to offsite Wetland Waters of the U.S. to the greatest extent practicable.

Given the central location of the wetlands on site, the preservation in place of these wetlands and the provision of buffer would significantly reduce the developable acreage of the property. In addition, as the wetlands are centrally located on the property, their preservation in place would not be supported by any adjacent natural areas. In addition, these wetlands are considerably degraded from their natural state and thus offer reduced value and functions for fish and wildlife, both on site and downstream. Non-Wetland Waters of the U.S. are comprised of man-made features such as swales, ditches, and excavated ponds located within the site. Due to their linear and continuous nature (ditches), avoidance of Non-Wetland Waters of the U.S. in their geometric configuration is not practicable.

Similarly, avoiding the excavated area would require reducing the developable acreage of the project site or require expanding the project area offsite and thus potentially impact additional waters of the U.S.”

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

“The unavoidable impacts to Wetland Waters of the U.S. will be offset via the purchase of mitigation credits from a Federally approved offsite mitigation bank.

Non-Wetland Waters of the U.S. will be replaced in kind by the construction of a new pond and surface water conveyance systems.”


The Corps is aware of historic property/properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and if applicable, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.


The project is within the range and consultation area of the threatened Audubon’s crested caracara (Polyborus plancus audobonii), eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Everglade snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus), Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis), and wood stork (Mycteria americana).

• May affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the threatened Audubon’s crested caracara. Nesting or foraging habitat for the caracara consists of large expanses of pastures, grasslands, or prairies dotted with numerous shallow ponds and sloughs and single or small clumps of live oaks, cabbage palms, and cypress. Portions of the project site may offer suitable foraging habitat, but are not likely to contain nesting habitat for the caracara. No caracaras have been observed on site. According to information available from United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) South Florida Ecological Services Office (SFESO), the closest known nest is over 10 miles from the proposed Project. Based on this information, a species survey was not required for this project and the Corps has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the crested caracara.

• The project site is located in an area where the eastern indigo snake may occur. The Corps has determined the proposal may affect the eastern indigo snake. The 29.4-acre project site contains 25 acres or more of potential eastern indigo snake habitat. By use of the FWS revised Eastern Indigo Snake Key dated August 1, 2017, the following key sequence A>B>C would result in a “May Affect” determination. The applicant will agree to conditions requiring that all gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, will be excavated prior to site manipulation in the vicinity of the burrow. If an eastern indigo snake is encountered, the snake must be allowed to vacate the area prior to additional site manipulation in the vicinity. Any permit will also be conditioned such that holes, cavities, and snake refugia other than gopher tortoise burrows will be inspected each morning before planned site manipulation of a particular area, and, if occupied by an eastern indigo snake, no work will commence until the snake has vacated the vicinity of proposed work.

• May affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Everglade snail kite. The project is within the consultation areas. Kite foraging habitat consists of relatively shallow wetland vegetation, either within extensive marsh systems, or in lake littoral zones. Snail kite nesting substrate is typically located over open water at a distance of approximately 150 meters from the edge of water to provide protection to the nest. It is not likely that nesting habitat is present on site. No snail kites have been observed on site, but suitable forage (apple snails) have been documented. Based on the above information, the Corps has determined that the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the snail kite. The need for a species survey for the project area will be determined based on guidance from US Fish and Wildlife service.

• No effect to the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. The project is located within the species consultation area. However, suitable habitat (dry prairie that is relatively open and low in stature, treeless, relatively poorly-drained grasslands that have a history of frequent fires) is not found on site.

• No effect to the Florida scrub jay. The project is located within the species consultation area. Suitable habitats for the scrub-jay are not only the more “classic” xeric oak scrub, scrubby pine flatwoods, scrubby coastal strand, and sand pine scrub, but also include: improved, unimproved, and woodland pastures, citrus groves, rangeland, pine flatwoods, longleaf pine xeric oak, sand pine, sand pine plantations, forest regeneration areas, sand other than beaches, disturbed rural land in transition without positive indicators of intended activity, and disturbed burned areas. The project is not located in any of these types of habitats.

• Not Likely to Adversely Affect the wood stork. The applicant has proposed compensation for wetland impacts through the use of onsite wetland mitigation. By use of the FWS Wood Stork Key dated January 25, 2010 and the May 18, 2010 addendum, the following key sequence A>B>C>E would result in a “Not Likely to Adversely Affect” (NLAA) determination. Any loss of wood stork foraging biomass resulting from the proposed activity will be compensated for through the purchase of mitigation credits from a federally approved mitigation bank within the area. A functional assessment will be prepared upon verification of the wetland delineation prepared for this site.

• No effect to the Red-cockaded woodpecker. The project area does not contain suitable Red-cockaded woodpecker habitat (open woodlands with large old growth pines, limited sub-canopy, and abundant native bunchgrass and forb groundcover) therefore the Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

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 proposal would impact approximately 3.3 acres of freshwater wetlands and 1.1 acres of non-wetland waters. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not 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, Trey Fraley, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at, or, by telephone at (561) 472-3526.

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.