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: Panther Creek Preserve, LLC
Mr. Chris Funk
5711 Richard Street, Suite 1
Jacksonville, Florida 32216
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with McGirts Creek. The project site is located at 11367 Panther Creek Parkway, in Section 25, Township 2 South, Range 24 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From downtown Jacksonville, travel west on Interstate 10. Take Exit 351 for Chaffee Road/Whitehouse. Travel south on Chaffee Road then turn right on Panther Creek Parkway. The proposed project site can be accessed at the terminus of Panther Creek Parkway.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is residential development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is residential development with associated stormwater and roadway infrastructure in western Duval County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a forested freshwater wetlands dominated by a canopy of red bay (Persea borbonia), sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), red maple (Acer rubrum), water oak (Quercus nigra), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), a sub-canopy of fetterbush (Lyonia lucida) and gallberry (Ilex glabra), and groundcover of Rhynchospora sp., cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), and sweet pitcher plants (Sarracenia rubra). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of residential development and forested floodplain wetland ecosystems.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge fill material into 8.29 acres of waters of the U.S. (wetlands) for the construction of a residential development with associated stormwater and roadway infrastructure.
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 applicant indicated that impacts associated with development of the parcel were limited to small wetland systems and to contiguous wetlands at the narrowest point practicable to accommodate road crossings or road improvements. Additionally, the applicant indicated that best management practices (BMP) would be employed during construction. BMP measures would include use of grassed slopes and installation of silt fences before the start of construction to minimize soil migration from construction areas into the remaining preservation wetlands.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant proposes a compensatory mitigation plan that includes 25.50 acres of forested freshwater wetland preservation, 23.14 acres of forested freshwater wetland creation and purchase of federal mitigation bank credits.
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 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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the St. Johns River. 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 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32232 within 15 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, Shannon White, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32232; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (904)232-1681.
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.