Public Notice Notifications

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SAJ-2018-02906 (SP-RGH)

Published March 15, 2019
Expiration date: 4/5/2019

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:      Nick Caprio

Citigroup Technology, Inc.

3800 Citibank Court

Tampa, Florida 33610

Nick.caprio@citi.com

 

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with onsite bottomland hardwoods and non-wetland surface waters associated with stormwater management systems.  The project site is located at 3800 Queen Palm Drive, in Section 8, Township 29 South, Range 20 East, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows:  The site is located within the same office building complex as the USACE Tampa Permits Section. Parcel “K” is located on the northwest corner of Princess Palm Ave. and Queen Palm Dr. Parcel “H” is located along Queen Palm Dr. north of the Citibank building. Parcel “V” is located south of Queen Palm Dr. and west of Harris Parkway Place.

 

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:    Latitude  27.978322°

                                                                            Longitude -82.32803°

 

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic:  Expansion of office building campus

Overall:  Expansion of existing office building in the center of the existing office building campus, including the re-alignment of the existing roads, associated utility corridor, and additional parking space.

 

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The Citibank Sabal Campus is an existing office campus with associated infrastructure including paved roads, parking lots/garages, office buildings, man-made stormwater treatment ponds, and other ancillary features. 

The land use and vegetative cover types as classified using the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCCS) Manual (Florida Department of Transportation, 1999) are as follows:

Commercial and Services (FLUCCS 140)

This category represents all secondary structures associated with an enterprise in addition to the main building and integral areas assigned to support the base unit. Included are office buildings, driveways, parking lots, and landscaped areas. This classification describes the areas within the project limits found in the Citibank Main Campus where the new office building is proposed to be constructed, as well as in a minor portion along the northern boundary of Parcel V (see Figure 1).

Open Land (FLUCCS 190)

This category represents undeveloped land within urban areas and inactive land with street patterns but without structures. This area does not exhibit any structures or any indication of intended use. This classification describes the areas within the project limits found in Parcel N (see Figure 1) located northwest of the jurisdictional wetland in Parcel H, as well as in the majority of Parcel V.

The FDOT FLUCCS data classifies the area in Parcel V as Freshwater Marshes (FLUCCS 641). However, this data is not an accurate representation of the current or historical land use. This area of land consists of an undeveloped spoil pile with no current indicated intended use and no wetlands present.

Reservoirs Less than 10 Acres (FLUCCS 534)

This category has been applied to the man-made pond located in Parcel K (see Figure 1) associated with Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) No. 49000953.003 that was previously excavated within uplands. The man-made pond was excavated in uplands in the mid-1990 for aesthetics, but also serves as a connection for stormwater drainage. The fringe along two sides of the pond is characterized by manicured lawn. The eastern fringe of the pond along the campus entrance is dominated by exotics/nuisance species, such as Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolia), saltbush (Baccharis spp.), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), and wax myrtle (Morella cerifera). Laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia) is planted along a sidewalk that extends along the south side of the pond. A sidewalk also runs along the east side of the pond at the main entrance of the campus.

Stream and Lake Swamps (Bottomland) (FLUCCS 615)

This category represents bottomland hardwoods found in a flood plain overflow area. This category represents the jurisdictional wetland area located in Parcel H (see Figure 1) and is predominantly comprised of mixed wetland hardwoods and vegetated non-forested habitats dominated by a canopy of sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), and red maple (Acer rubrum). However, the proposed area of impact is located along the southwestern transitional fringe of the wetland, which is characterized predominantly by exotic/nuisance species that have established as a result of the adjacent development activities and incorporation of the subject wetland into the stormwater management system. Species observed include elderberry (Sambucus nigra), shrub verbena (Lantana spp.), saltbush (Baccharis spp.), sword fern (Polystichum munitum), and Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolia).

 

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to construct a new 5-story office building in the center of the existing Citibank campus, re-align the existing Queen Palm Drive and associated utility corridor to provide space for the new office building, and the construction of additional parking space that will be needed to accommodate growth related to the campus expansion.

The proposed construction activities related to the expansion are expected to result in approximately 0.84 acre of permanent (fill) and 0.03 acre of temporary (dredge) impacts to a 5.10-acre jurisdictional forested wetland system, as well as approximately 1.64 acre of permanent (fill) impacts to a 1.64-acre other surface water of the U.S. (OWOTUS) pond that was excavated within uplands in association with SWFWMD ERP 49000953.003. 

 

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 provided an alternatives analysis that reviewed 10 separate alternatives and selected the plan meets the Applicant’s objectives with proper/appropriate consideration to all constraints and criteria. Wetland impacts have been avoided and minimized to the greatest practicable extent.

Multiple design iterations of this alternative have been considered through the value engineering process and the final design has reduced the planned permanent wetland and OWOTUS impacts for construction of the proposed new 5-story campus building and additional parking area to less than 2.51 acres (0.84-acre permanent wetland impact; 0.03-acre temporary wetland impact; and 1.64-acre permanent OWOTUS impact).

The currently proposed construction footprint for the new 5-story campus building and associated infrastructure (i.e. re-alignment of Queen Palm Drive/utility corridor) has significantly reduced impacts to the wetland in Parcel H by 84% (initial design – 5.10 acres, current design 0.84 acres).

 

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Applicant proposes to provide compensatory mitigation to offset the impact of approximately 0.84 acre of primary permanent wetland impacts through the procurement of up to 0.48 palustrine forested credits from the Two Rivers Mitigation Bank in the Hillsborough River Drainage Basin.

 

CULTURAL RESOURCES:  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 those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.

 

ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood stork (Mycteria americana) and the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). 

Wood stork: Potential effects to the threatened Wood stork were assessed using the

Programmatic Concurrence Key dated May 18, 2010. Use of this key produced the sequential determination of A>B>C>MANLAA. The project site is within 6 Wood stork core foraging areas and supports marginally Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) in the form of the 0.84 acres of on-site wetlands. Less than 0.5 acres is SFH. The Corps has determined the project “May Affect, but is Not Likely to Adversely Affect” the Wood Stork. By letter dated 18 May 2010, the USFWS stated that for proposed activities analyzed with the May 2010 version of The Wood Stork Effect Determination Key that reach a no effect or MANLAA determination, the FWS concurs with the Corps determination and requirements of Section 7 of ESA are fulfilled. Therefore, no further consultation with USFWS is required.

Eastern indigo snake: The project site is located in an area where the Eastern indigo snake may occur, potential effects to the species were assessed using the Programmatic Effect Determination Key provided by the USFWS South Florida Ecological Services Office (Revised July 2017). Use of this key produced a sequential determination of A>B>C>MANLAA. This determination is based on the lack of suitable habitat for the Eastern indigo snake as defined by the effect determination key, as the project site is composed of urban developed uplands that lack suitable vegetation or refugia, and contain 0.84 acres of bottomland hardwoods. This determination will also require that the applicant utilizes Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake (2013) during all construction activities. Therefore, the Corps has determined the project “May Affect, but is Not Likely to Adversely Affect” the Eastern indigo snake. By letter dated 1 August 2017, the USFWS stated that for proposed activities analyzed with the July 2017 version of the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key that reach a MANLAA, the USFWS concurs with this determination and no further consultation is necessary for the effects of the proposed action.

 

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. Due to the project’s location in freshwater artificial surface waters and bottomland hardwoods, the proposed action would not have an 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 Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302 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, Ryan Hendren, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302; by electronic mail at Ryan.G.Hendren@usace.army.mil or, by telephone at 813-769-7075. 

 

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.  

 

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.