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: KB Home
Attn: Mr. Chris Hill
10475 Fortune Parkway, Suite 100
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Black Creek. The project site is located at 146 Knight Boxx Road, in Section 27, 28, 33, and 34, Township 4 South, Range 25 East, Middleburg, Clay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate-95 take Exit 337 and head west towards the town of Orange Park. Proceed and take Exit 12 and head south on Blanding Boulevard. Proceed until the intersection of County Road 220B and turn left. Proceed until the intersection of Lucille Lane and the property is located on the right side of County Road 220B.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.112827°
Basic: The basic project purpose is residential development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is single-family residential development within the geographical area of Middleburg.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project area (1.30 acres) contains several community types. Three generalized vegetative communities per Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS) Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), State Topographic Bureau, Thematic Mapping Section, 1999 characterize the property.
a. Upland Community: Hardwood-Conifer Mix (FLUCFCS 434) – This community has a canopy of slash pine (Pinus elliottii), live oak (Quercus Virginiana). Ground cover consists of bahia grass (Taxodium distichum) and other grass species.
b. Wetland Communities:
i. Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS 630) – This community has a mixed canopy of slash pine, dahoon holly (Ilex cassine), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), red maple (Acer rubrum), live oak (Quercus virginiana), and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). The understory and groundcover are vegetated with fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), and pipewort (Eriocaulon sp.).
ii. Borrow Area/Pond (FLUCFCS 742) – The project area also contains a small rectangular borrow area (also extends offsite). The area has since become vegetated with willow (Salix caroliniana).
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean-fill material into 1.30 acres of forested-freshwater wetlands to facilitate the construction of a single-family residential development, associated infrastructure, and stormwater management facility.
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 current proposed site contained the most favorable layout conditions for a subdivision which included the least wetland impact of the three parcels. Prior to proposing any onsite wetland impacts, the project engineer ensured the site layout utilized all uplands onsite. Development of the site also contains multiple design constraints. First, the southern portion of the project area contains a power line easement. This area does contain both uplands and wetlands but is not usable for development purposes. Secondly, the project engineer has to design for both an impaired waterbody (nutrients) which requires larger stormwater ponds. However, the engineer also needs to design a floodplain compensating storage area. Both the power line easement and compensating storage area utilize usable uplands onsite. The proposed site contains a current roadway (Lucile Lane) which historically was utilized to gain access to at least one home site on the property. This roadway severed the 0.62-acre wetland from the 5.55-acre wetland. The 0.62-acre wetland is the smallest and least ecologically significant wetland onsite. Thus, after utilizing all wetlands onsite, it would make the most sense to eliminate the lowest quality wetland first. Lucile Lane will also serve as the proposed project’s entrance roadway. To make the project economically viable, the project engineer also needed to design lots, which required wetland fill along the entrance roadway. As discussed above, the applicant will provide a pro forma demonstrating these wetland impacts were required to make the project economically viable while not producing more than a 10% profit. In summary, CES believes the applicant has avoided and reduced wetland impacts to the greatest extent practicable while maintaining a viable project and qualifying for an
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“The Applicant proposes to mitigate for the adverse wetland impacts by purchasing 0.82 UMAM mitigation bank credits from an ACOE permitted bank, which services the project area.”
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 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 Black Creek. 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. Corps personnel have not verified the jurisdictional line.
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 32232-0019 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, Brad Carey, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (904) 232-2405.
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.