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: Alma Investment Properties, LLC
5711 Richard Street, Suite 1
Jacksonville, Florida 32216
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Trout River. The project site is located at the end of Driftwood Creek Drive, in Section 1, Township 1 South, Range 25 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Traveling from downtown Jacksonville, take Interstate 95 (I-95) north to I-295. Turn west onto I-295. Then turn west onto Dunn Avenue. Follow Dunn Avenue to Silver Key Drive and turn north onto Silver Key Drive. Then turn west onto Riverstone Way and north onto Driftwood Creek Drive. Follow Driftwood Creek Drive to the project site which is located on the 34.22 acre parcel just north of the Driftwood Creek Drive cul-de-sac.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.449042°
Basic: The basic project purpose is residential development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to expand the existing residential development.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of the following communities as classified by the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS): Pine Plantation, Upland Hardwood Forest, Improved Pasture, Pine and Hardwoods, Open Land, Inland Ponds and Sloughs, and Wet Pine Plantation. The Pine Plantation community consists of a canopy of slash pine intermixed with scattered hardwoods such as red maple and sweetgum. The ground cover in this area is dominated by blackberry, grape vine, and broomsedge. The Upland Hardwood Forest community has a canopy of red maple and sweetgum. The understory and ground cover are relatively open due to the almost closed canopy and consists of southern magnolia, ebony spleenwort, and pokeweed. The Improved Pasture community consists of relatively small areas that appear to be maintained by an adjacent property owner. The vegetation in this area includes Bahia grass and various early successional weed species. The Pine and Hardwoods community contains a canopy of slash pine, laurel oak, water oak, and live oak. The Inland Ponds and Sloughs community contains a canopy of red maple, sweetgum, pond cypress, sweetbay, and blackgum. The understory and ground cover vegetation include waxmyrtle, fetterbush, Virginia chain fern, cinnamon fern, royal fern, netted chain fern, sphagnum moss, and bamboo vine. These wetlands regularly hold standing water during the rainy season. The Wet Pine Plantation community consists of a canopy of red maple, sweetgum and loblolly bay. The understory and ground cover vegetation include blackberry, waxmyrtle, and cinnamon fern. The project site is bordered to the south by the Barrington Cove subdivision and to the north by the Smithfield Plantation subdivision. The project site is bordered to the east and west by residential development.
PROJECT SITE HISTORY: The project site is an extension of the Barrington Cove subdivision. The Barrington Cove subdivision was formerly known as the Lyne Point subdivision. A previous land owner, Gilder Hauling, received Department of the Army (DA) authorization to impact 0.467 acre of waters of the United States in association with the construction of the Lyne Point/Barrington Cove subdivision on May 26, 2005. The subdivision was constructed as planned. Then on August 14, 2008, Property Disposition I, LLC, received DA authorization to expand the subdivision and impact an additional 0.27 acre of waters of the United States in association with the expansion. This authorization expired on August 14, 2013, and the expansion was never constructed. On March 5, 2019, Alma Investment Properties, LLC, applied for DA to place fill material in 0.11 acre of waters of the United States in association with the expansion of the Barrington Cove subdivision. The proposed expansion would utilize the existing roadway through the Barrington Cove subdivision. This roadway would be the sole access to the new residential lots, therefore, the expansion is considered dependent on or part of the overall Barrington Cove development and may not be evaluated separately. Since the original development was authorized by the Nationwide Permit Verification 39, which has a 0.50-acre threshold, the proposed work does not qualify for a Nationwide Permit Verification. The review of the proposed Barrington Cove subdivision expansion is through the standard permit process which requires this public notice.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place fill material in 0.11 acre of waters of the United States in association with the expansion of the existing Barrington Cove subdivision.
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 project was designed to avoid all wetland impacts except for the road crossing that is required to access the property from Phase 2 and 136 square feet of impacts associated with the residential development. The 136 square feet of impacts are associated with the construction of an interior road, a single-family lot, and a neighborhood recreation area.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant proposes to purchase 0.07 federal mitigation bank credits from the Longleaf Mitigation Bank (SAJ-2003-00640) as compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States.
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 Trout 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 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 Jacksonville Permits 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, Paula R. Johnson, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019; by telephone at (904)232-2503 or by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.