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: HPI Horne Storage, LLC
c/o Jeff Eckols
101 Westlake Dr., Ste 148-Box 7
Austin, Texas 78746
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Lake Nash. The project site is located at 1539 Alternate Highway 19, in Section 31, Township 26 South, Range 16 East, Holiday, Pasco County, Florida 34691.
Directions to the site are as follows: From U.S. Highway 19 north, turn left onto U.S.-19 Alt south. The project site is the first property on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 28.182071°
Basic: Commercial development.
Overall: To construct a mini self-storage warehouse facility near U.S. 19 and Alt Highway 19 in Pasco County, Florida, to meet local demand for this type of facility.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is an approximately 5 acre parcel adjacent to Alt Highway 19. The parcel contains 2 acres of mixed wetland hardwoods (FLUCCS 617), 0.61 acre of Brazilian pepper dominated wetlands (FLUCCS 619) and 0.097 acres of non-forested wetlands (FLUCCS 640). Uplands consist of Brazilian pepper (FLUCCS 422), grassed open land (FLUCCS 191) and a retail fruit stand and parking lot (FLUCCS 141). The parcel is surrounded on all sides by roads, commercial development and/or residences. The on-site wetlands have a surface hydrologic connection via a ditch to wetlands contiguous with Lake Nash to the southwest.
Drainage structure improvements are also proposed at three offsite locations: Tackle Lane, Gulf Trace Blvd and Strauber Memorial Highway. Tackle Lane drainage improvements are proposed in areas supporting mixed wetland hardwoods. Gulf Trace drainage improvements are proposed in an area supporting open water and Brazilian pepper. Strauber Memorial Highway drainage improvements are proposed in an area supporting saltwater marsh.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to permanently fill 1.417 acres of wetlands and perform clearing in 0.020 acre of wetlands for the construction of a self-storage facility at the subject parcel. The work also includes floodplain compliance activities consisting of 0.011 acre of permanent fill and 0.004 acre of temporary excavation in wetlands for the construction of Tackle Lane drainage improvements, including installation of stormwater pipes and mitered end sections from Tackle Lane to wetlands contiguous with Lake Nash. The work also includes downstream drainage improvements consisting of 0.001 acre of permanent fill and 0.004 acre of temporary excavation in wetlands for the replacement of a stormwater pipe under Strauber Memorial Highway. Drainage improvements at Gulf Trace Blvd will not require work in waters and will only require temporary deployment of a turbidity barrier.
PROJECT HISTORY: In 2011, the Corps permitted 1.617 acres of permanent fill and 0.026 acre of temporary fill for a grocery store project at this location, as well as drainage improvements at Tackle Lane, Gulf Trace Blvd and Strauber Memorial Highway. The permit expired in 2016 with no work started.
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 reduced permanent wetland fill impacts on the subject parcel by 0.10 acre from the initial design.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The applicant will mitigate for direct and secondary wetland impacts via the purchase of federal mitigation credits from the Upper Coastal Mitigation Bank.
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 made the determination of “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” for the federally threatened wood stork (Mycteria americana). The Corps evaluated potential impacts to the wood stork using the Wood Stork Effect Determination Key dated September, 2008 (Key). The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > D > E “not likely to adversely affect” pursuant to the Key.
The Corps determined the proposal may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the federally threatened eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). The Corps evaluated potential impacts to the eastern indigo snake using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key (Key) dated January 25, 2010, and updated August 13, 2013. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > “not likely to adversely affect” pursuant to the Key.
The Corps determined the aspect of the project involving the Strauber Memorial Highway drainage improvements may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). The Corps evaluated the proposed work utilizing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)—Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JaxBO) dated November 20, 2017. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with this determination pursuant to the JaxBO and no individual concurrence is required.
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 construction of the storage facility on the mail parcel and the Tackle Lane drainage improvements would affect inland freshwater resources. The Strauber Memorial Highway drainage improvements would affect a small amount of open water or salt marsh around an existing drainage structure. The Gulf Trace drainage improvements would only require temporary deployment of a turbidity curtain in freshwater resources. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries. 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: The project is currently under review at the Southwest Florida Water Management District under application number 771425.
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, FL 33610 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, Jessica Cordwell, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120 Tampa, Florida 33610, by telephone at (813)769-7067, by fax at (813)769-7061, or by electronic mail at Jessica.L.Cordwell@usace.army.mil.
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, aesthetics, 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.