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: Golden City Highland Beach, LLC
Attention: Samuel Swerdlow
20725 NE 16th Avenue, Suite A1
Miami, Florida 33179
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with 5.15 acres of a tidal mangrove wetland, directly connected to the Intracoastal Waterway. The project site is located 3822 South Ocean Boulevard, Section 4, Township 47 South, Range 43 East, Highland Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take Interstate 95 to Exit 51 for Linton Blvd, proceed east to end of Linton Blvd at SR A1A, then proceed south 2.3 miles on SR A1A. Project site is located on west side of SR A1A, directly south of Toscana residential towers.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Multi-Family Residential
Overall: Construct a multi-family residential community in southern Palm Beach County, Florida
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a 5.15 acre tidal mangrove wetland. Seagrasses were noted on the plans to exist waterward of the mangroves and around the existing riprap breakwaters. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of multi and single family residential development, as well as vacant lots with additional tidal mangrove wetlands.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a multi-family residential community within an existing 5.15 acre tidal mangrove wetland by placing 18,200 cubic yards of fill within 2.36 acres of mangrove wetlands, which includes 0.69 acres of mangroves located waterward of the mean high water line.
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 proposed site plan would impact 2.36 acres of mangrove wetland, which represents approximately 32% of the 7.35-acre parcel. The mangrove habitat proposed to be impacted is of lower quality, located mostly eastward of the Mean High Water line (NGVD 1988), than the mangrove wetlands proposed to be preserved in the western portion of the parcel. Development of the project on the eastward side of the parcel has been encouraged throughout pre-application coordination between the Applicant and SFWMD. Based on all of the above information, the Applicant believes they have satisfied, to the extent practicable, the required avoidance and minimization.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“The proposed mitigation include onsite enhancement of 2.79 acres of mangrove and 1.86 acres of seagrass habitat; 9.06 acres of offsite enhancement at the “Priest” parcel and restoration of mangrove habitat with 19.45 acres of secondary positive impacts to mangrove habitats managed by Palm Beach County located 8.62 miles north of the proposed project area.”
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, if applicable, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project and the proposed mitigation may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus); Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi); wood stork (Mycteria americana); swimming sea turtles: (green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)); and smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). 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 by separate letters.
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. The proposal would impact approximately 2.36 acres of mangrove habitat 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, Jerilyn Ashworth, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at Jerilyn.K.Ashworth@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (561)626-6971; or, by telephone at (561)472-3508.
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.