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: Turning Point Baptist Church, Inc.
c/o Noel Lozano
3350 SW 144 Avenue
Miami, FL 33175
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with East Bird Drive Wetland Basin. The project site is located: 3350 SW 144 Avenue, in Township 54, Section 15, Range 39, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Parcel Folio No. 30-4915-001-0260.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the Florida Turnpike (South), take Exit 23 for SW 40th St. Make a right on SW 40th St. Make a right on SW 144th Ave. Property entrance is on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Expand the facilities at an existing religious congregation.
Overall: Expansion of a religious institutional development in the East Bird Drive Wetland Basin, within unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a hydrologically altered freshwater system dominated by invasive and exotic forested species. The onsite vegetation consists primarily of a canopy dominated by invasive exotic species including Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia) and natives including Dahoon holly (Ilex cassine), Myrsine (Myrsine cubana), mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni) and gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba). Invasive exotic species comprised the majority of the canopy. The understory was generally devoid of groundcover or shrub species except for muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), beggarticks (Bidens alba), creeping oxeye daisy (Sphagneticola trilobata), and southern shield fern (Thelypteris kunthii). These wetlands are best characterized as Exotic Wetland Hardwoods and Vegetated Non-Forested Wetlands. The site is isolated from other natural areas. The area surrounding the project area consists of a mixture of single family residential and institutional uses.
PROPOSED WORK: The project site is 4.80 acres with an existing church and office building situated on the southeast corner of the property on 1.15-acres of uplands. The remaining 3.65 acres contains freshwater wetlands that are proposed to be impacted with 16,100 cubic yards of limerock fill to support the expansion of the existing religious congregation development.
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 site is located within a heavily developed, high density area of Miami-Dade County. Based on a review of available undeveloped land, it is apparent that there are no upland available sites that would allow completion of the project while reducing the functional loss of wetlands. The entire site is proposed for development to support the needs of the expanding congregation. No secondary wetland impacts will occur. Sediment controls will be installed during construction and best management practices will be utilized during construction.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant is proposing to offset the wetland impacts associated with the project by
mitigating through the purchase of 0.91 freshwater herbaceous mitigation credits from FP&L Everglades Mitigation Bank (EMB).
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the, Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana), and have no effect on the Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) or its designated critical habitat. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with these determinations based the 1 August 2017 letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Indigo snake and 18 May 2010 letter for the wood stork.
The Corps has determined the proposal may affect the Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus). The project is located within the South Florida Urban Bat Area within Miami- Dade County. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service/National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): The proposed project would have no impacts on tidally influenced water. Therefore, our initial determination is that the proposed action would have no impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries.
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/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 Miami Permits
Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203 Miami, Florida 33176 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, Albert Gonzalez, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33176; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (305)779-6055.
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.