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: Ted Glasrud Associates FL, LLC
759 SW Federal Highway, Suite 217
Stuart, Florida 34994
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with 1.49 non-tidal freshwater palustrine wetlands and 0.06 non-wetland waters. The project site is located south of SE Miami Avenue, east of U.S. Highway 1 and West of SE Commerce Avenue, Section 16, Township 38 South, Range 41 East, Stuart, Martin County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take Interstate 95 to the Kanner Highway Exit
101 (SR 76), proceed east/north on Kanner Highway approximately 2.75 miles. Turn right and proceed east on Pomeroy Street for 1.75 miles until U.S. Highway 1. Turn left and proceed north on U.S. Highway 1 for a ¼ mile, turn right (west) onto Miami Avenue. Proceed 500 feet past the cross-access drive and the site is on the right hand (south) side of Miami Avenue.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Multi-family residential
Overall: To provide additional multifamily residential housing for Stuart, Martin County Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 9.4-acre site is an existing vacant lot which includes 1.49 acres of freshwater palustrine wetlands and 1.78 acres of non-wetland waters. The canopy consists of Brazilian pepper, melaleuca, and slash pine, with an understory of saw palmetto, and other herbaceous species. Immediately east of the proposed project area are non-developed forested and herbaceous mixed communities; and to the south, west and north exist commercial and residential development.
PROJECT HISTORY: A portion of the proposed project area was permitted under a standard permit issued December 11, 2013 with the project number SAJ-2003-06766. The 2013 permit spanned a 20.9 acre area, which included the placement of fill within 1.4 acres of wetlands and 0.18 acres of non-wetland waters. The current application proposes the development of a 9.4-acre parcel, which includes an additional 2+/- acres of land not, which contains non-wetland waters that were not included in the 2013 permit authorization. The current application also proposes an additional 0.09 acres of wetland impacts within the 7.4 +/- acres from the 2013 permit.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place 3,500 cubic yards of fill within 1.09 acres of freshwater wetlands, excavate 0.40 acre of freshwater wetlands, and impact 0.06 acre of non-wetland waters in order to construct a development known as the Trillium Townhome Community.
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:
“While every effort was made during the site selection process to select a project site with no wetland waters, there are no such sites in the area that meet all the site selection criteria and would offer 6 +/- acres of contiguous uplands. The compact nature of the proposed site development plan avoids and minimizes impacts to offsite Wetland Waters of the U.S. to the greatest extent practicable.
Given the central location of the largest wetland on site, the preservation in place of this wetland and the provision of buffer would essentially eliminate all developable acreage of the property. The other two smaller wetlands are located adjacent to or along roadways and as a result, their preservation in place or partial preservation would not be supported by any adjacent natural areas. In addition, these wetlands are considerably degraded from their natural state and thus offer reduced value and functions for fish and wildlife, both on site and downstream.
The man-made excavated stormwater management pond and conveyance ditches comprise the Non-Wetland Waters of the U.S. found on site. Due to its compact size and location in a corner of the project area, 100% avoidance of the pond is possible and is proposed. The conveyance ditches will be replaced with underground pipe.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following compensatory mitigation statement explaining how unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment will be mitigated:
“The unavoidable impacts to Wetland Waters of the U.S. have already been offset via the purchase of 0.06 mitigation credits from a Federally approved offsite mitigation bank (Bluefield Ranch Mitigation Bank). Permit No. SAJ-2003-06766 (SP-LCK) was issued for this site in 2013 and recently expired.”
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, if applicable, 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 (Drymarchon couperi); and wood stork (Mycteria americana). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other 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. No EFH is located within or areas affected by the project.
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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 within 30 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, Jerilyn Ashworth, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at Jerilyn.Ashworth@usace.army.mil or by telephone at (561)472-3516.
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.