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):
APPLICANT: Resort Lifestyle Communities
7101 South 82nd Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68516
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with unnamed tributaries to South Creek. The project site is located on the east side of the intersection of S. Tamiami Trail (SR 41) and Old Venice Road at 1301 South Tamiami Trail; in Section 14, Township 38 South, Range 18 East, Sarasota County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-75 south towards Naples, exit 200 (Route 681) south towards Venice/Osprey. Merge onto US-41 north (right turn) Turn right onto Habitat Blvd., First left, approximately 440 feet and the site is straight.
Overall: Over time seniors require a transition from independent living to assisted living centers. The proposed project will satisfy the current demand for senior citizen housing.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 17.5 acre project area includes overgrown open field areas, mixed hardwood forested areas consisting of nuisance and exotic species, and manmade upland cut surface waters originally dug for the construction of US-41 four lane upgrade. Both Sarasota County and SWFWMD verified that the surface water is a borrow pit excavated for fill for the widening of Highway 41.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to impact 1.906 acres of upland cut surface waters. The impacts are associated with the construction of the proposed senior assisted living facility.
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: “It is impossible to avoid or minimize the impact to the man-made borrow pit as it meanders throughout the subject parcel with two (2) uncut upland islands. There is No Access to the subject site off of Tamiami Trail due to the meandering borrow pit.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has not offered compensatory mitigation for the proposed impacts due to the upland cut origin of the borrow pit and the water quality is that of a traditional stormwater pond system. In addition the borrow pit banks consist of 85%-90% nuisance exotic plant material including Brazilian Pepper, Primrose Willow, Cogon Grass, Elephant Ears, Muscadine Grape Vines, Skunk Vines and Dog Fennel.
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 proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake. This determination was made using the revised 2017 Effect Determination Key for the Eastern Indigo Snake. There is less than 25 acres of onsite habitat for the species. During the site visit no Gopher Tortoise burrows or other refugia was observed. Pursuant to the key, no further consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is necessary. The Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake will be made a Special Condition of the permit if authorized.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork. The onsite waters were dug borrow pits out of uplands for the 4 lane expansion of US-41. The banks of these waters are steep and thick with invasive species. The onsite conditions are not conducive for suitable foraging habitat (SFH) for the Wood Stork. There is SFH in such as roadside ditches and stormwater ponds within the adjacent areas to the proposed site. This determination was made using the 2008 Wood Stork Key for Central and North Peninsular Florida. Pursuant to the key, no further consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is necessary.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the Florida Scrub-Jay, the Western Manatee, and the Piping Plover due to the lack of habitat onsite for the Florida Scrub Jay and Piping Plover. The onsite dug borrow pits are not accessible to the Western Manatee.
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 an adverse impact on Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) or federally managed fisheries as there is no EFH or managed fisheries onsite. The onsite borrow pits appear to be associated with the groundwater table and fed from multiple culverts and swales off of US-41 and Old Venice Road. 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 Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palms Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 36610 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, Peter Romano, in writing to “Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palms Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 36610; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (813)769-7061; or, by telephone at (813)769-7072.
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.