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: Stone Mountain Industrial Park, Inc.
5170 Peachtree Road, Building 100, Suite 400
Atlanta, Georgia 30341
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Terrapin Creek, a tributary of Dunn Creek. The project site is located at the southwest corner of Port Jacksonville Parkway and New Berlin Road, parcel number 108451-0060, in Section 2, Township 1 south, Range 27 east, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Jacksonville use Interstate 95 North to Exit 362A for East Beltway/Interstate 295 South; merge onto Interstate 295. Drive 4.1 miles to Exit 40 for Alta Drive. In 0.3 mile take a sharp left onto Alta Drive; travel 1.2 miles and turn right on Port Jacksonville Parkway. Drive another 1.2 miles to road entering the project site. The impacts are on the left side of the entrance road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to accommodate additional filling of wetlands associated with the existing commercial development in north Duval County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a freshwater system. Soil types onsite consist Evergreen-Wesconnett complex, depressional and Leon fine sand with the majority of the impact occurring within Evergreen-Wesconnett complex, depressional soil type. The land use types are improved pasture and wetland forest mixed. The improved pasture is considered upland and vegetated with bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). The wetland forest mixed includes slash pine (Pinus elliottii), red
maple (Acer rubrum), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), water hickory (Carya aquatic), water oak and blackgum (Nyssa biflora).
The project under consideration is within a 362-acre project site previously authorized by Department of the Army permit for the construction of warehouses and residential development. Construction of one of the warehouses was offset 10 feet to the west; thus impacting a portion of the existing wetlands proposed for preservation and placed under a conservation easement. Existing wetlands are adjacent on the west, the existing warehouse lies to the east, Port Jacksonville Parkway is on the north and a retention pond exists on the south along with additional commercial development.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to retain and maintain the after-the-fact discharge fill material in 0.22 acre of wetlands associated with the access road/parking for existing warehouse.
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:
Avoidance and minimization was addressed during the evaluation of the previous permit action. These wetland impacts were not intentional and were the result of an inadvertent shift of the building footprint between the approved and construction phases. The intent now is to rectify the impact.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant is offering to purchase 0.15 credit from Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank to address the 0.22-acre wetland impact.
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 (SHPO) and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.
Under the previous permit evaluation and subsequent coordination with the SHPO, the SHPO’s review of the Master Site File indicated no significant archaeological or historical resources were recorded in the project area, and given the location and nature of the project, it is unlikely any such site would be affected.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the project would have no effect on any listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.
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 been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Information from the applicant indicates the St. Johns River Water Management District has agreed to resolve by accepting the purchase of mitigation bank credit and amend the conservation easement to exclude the 0.22-acre area. Mitigation offered during the previous evaluation was in excess of that needed to fully compensate for the authorized impacts.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Enforcement Section, P. O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019 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, Mrs. Dianne Griffin, in writing at the Enforcement Section, P. O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019, by electronic mail at Dianne.S.Griffin@usace.army.mil, by facsimile transmission at 904-232-1904; or, by telephone at 904-232-3697.
After reviewing all available information pertaining to the completed work, the Department of the Army has not recommended legal action at this time. Final determination regarding legal action will be made after review of the project through the permit procedure.
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 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.