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: TW Property Holdings, LLC
Attn: Mr. David Haas
2379 Beville Road
Daytona Beach, Florida 32119
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Clapboard Creek. The project site is located at 5206 Cedar Point Road in Section 5, Township 1 South, Range 28 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.456523°
Basic: The basic project purpose is residential development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the construction of the final phase of the Tidewater residential subdivision.
HISTORY AND EXISTING CONDITIONS:
General: The project site was purchased by the initial developer of the Tidewater subdivision in 2003 and then transferred to the applicant in 2012. During initial permitting, Phase 4 was conceptualized but not permitted due to the economic recession in the early 2000s. Since that time, the permitted phases of Tidewater are nearing build-out.
Soils: The Soil Survey of City of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service) indicates that the project site encompasses Boulogne fine sand (map unit 14); Evergreen-Wesconnett complex, depressional (map unit 22); Leon fine sand (map unit 32); and Tisonia mucky peat, very frequently flooded (map unit 68).
Vegetative Communities: The project area encompasses eight community types characterized by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS).
- Open Land (FLUCFCS code 190): The project site was previously utilized as pasture for a farm site. With the sale of the property, all agricultural activities ceased and the property naturally revegetated. Portions of the property that have not been developed, significantly altered by the adjacent development, or re-forested naturally continue to be dominated by Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus), dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), and other successional species. These areas are mowed and/or maintained irregularly.
- Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS code 411): Following cessation of agricultural activities within the overall property, portions of the property revegetated with a community dominated by slash pine (Pinus elliottii). Other vegetation within these communities includes red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), bitter gallberry (Ilex glabra), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), and sparse bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum).
- Upland Cut Ditch (FLUCFCS code 511): Several small drainage conveyances were constructed on the property to facilitate drainage of the previous pasture. Portions of these ditches remain on-site.
- Reservoirs less than 10 acres (FLUCFCS 534): Previous phases of the Tidewater development overlap with the currently proposed phase. The overlapping areas include stormwater management ponds along the western project boundary. These ponds are part of the permitted surface water management facility for the previous phases of the development.
- Hydric Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS code 625): Re-forested portions of the agricultural fields have established as hydric pine flatwoods. These areas are dominated by a canopy of naturally recruited slash pine with a subcanopy primarily comprised of wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) and loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus). Groundcover species include bitter gallberry, fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), and cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea).
- Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS code 630): Deeper wetland systems that have not been cleared by previous agricultural activities are located within the hydric pine flatwoods community. These wetlands are dominated by a canopy of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), slash pine, loblolly bay, and tupelo (Nyssa biflora). Subcanopy and groundcover species include fetterbush, wax myrtle, Virginia chainfern (Woodwardia virginica), and cinnamon fern.
- Salt Marshes (FLUCFCS code 642): Salt marsh communities associated with Clapboard Creek are located in the south and eastern portions of the site. These tidal wetlands are dominated by a mix of saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) and black needle rush (Juncus roemerianus).
- Spoil Areas (FLUCFCS code 743): The construction of the stormwater management facilities associated with the earlier phases of the overall project resulted in an accumulation of excess fill material, which was stockpiled within the overall project site. These areas are large mounds of dirt that are now vegetated with slash pine, beggarticks (Bidens alba), wax myrtle, broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus), and dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium).
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material over a total of 14.79 acres of wetlands and 0.49 acre of surface waters to facilitate the construction of the last phase of a single-family residential development with associated infrastructure including roads, utilities, and stormwater management facilities.
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 seeks authorization to implement work associated with the final phase of an established residential subdivision. Therefore, the applicant indicated that alternate sites were not practical. With respect to the work affecting wetlands, the applicant indicated that the work proposed was the minimum necessary to establish an economically viable project.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant’s ecological agent compiled a Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) quantifying and qualifying the loss of wetland functions and services associated with the work proposed. That UMAM calculated the functional loss as 8.45 units. In consideration of that UMAM, the applicant proposes the purchase of 8.45 palustrine forested credits from a federally authorized mitigation bank with a service area encompassing the project site.
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.
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana): The project site is within the Core Foraging Area of the Pumpkin Hill, Cedar Point Road, and Jacksonville Zoo Wood Stork colonies. Therefore, this species could utilize the project site. However, the work proposed would affect less than 0.5 acre of suitable foraging habitat. In consideration of this information, the Corps utilized The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008, to determine potential effects upon this species. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-may affect, not likely to adversely affect.
The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.
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 project site is contiguous to an estuarine ecosystem; however, the work proposed would not affect estuarine nor marine habitat or EFH. Therefore, 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. However, Corps personnel have verified the proposed delineation of wetlands encompassed by the project site.
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, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 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, Mark R. Evans, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1940; or, by telephone at (904)232-2028.
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.