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: Dean Russell Construction, Inc.
Attn: Kim Rose
496 Osceola Ave.
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32250
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States, including wetlands, hydrologically connected to the Intracoastal Waterway. The project site is located in the Marsh Landing Subdivision, at 24757 Harbour View Drive, in Section 20, Township 3 South, Range 29 East, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Johns County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is to construct a single family residence.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a single family residence and associated infrastructure, within the Marsh Landing residential subdivision, in St. Johns County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 1.71 acre proposed project site consists of 1.54 acres of uplands and 0.17 acres of palustrine forested wetlands. Onsite wetlands are remnants from when fill was placed over the project area during the original Corps permit period beginning in 1990 (89IPF-2008). The lot was filled, but not to the level per engineering specifications at that time and wetlands still persist. The property is characterized by two 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)]:
Inactive Open Land (FLUCFCS 192) – This community consists of filled and leveled land with low density, scattered trees. Trees found within the lot include live oak (Quercus virginiana), sabal palm (Sabal palmetto), and slash pine (Pinus elliottii). There is no shrub component and the groundcover is a mix of torpedograss (Panicum repens) and St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum).
Vegetated Non-Forested Wetland (FLUCFCS 640) – This community has no associated overstory, although, the fringes of the wetlands contain a minimal amount of live oaks and sabal palms. There is no shrub layer or midstory, and the groundcover consists of a mix of torpedograss, pennywort (Hydrocotyle spp.), smartweed (Polygonum spp.), and cattail (Typha spp.).
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material into a total of 0.17 acre of wetlands to construct a single family residence and associated infrastructure.
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 contains +/- 0.17 acre of Corps jurisdictional wetlands of which all are proposed to be filled. The proposed impact is due to the placement of a single-family residence and associated infrastructure. These wetlands are remnants from when fill was placed over the project area during the original permit (SJRWMD permit number 4109- 0070; Corps permit number 89IPF-2008) period beginning in 1990. The lot was filled, but not to the level per engineering specifications at that time. Therefore, we request these wetlands are considered de minimis and should not require demonstration of avoidance and minimization. The wetland areas are small and of low quality. They are isolated and offer very little ecological value. Additionally, they are almost completely (80%+) covered with torpedo grass, an invasive exotic and noxious grass."
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
"Mitigation should not be required for the 0.17 acre proposed wetland fill, as the wetland areas should be considered de minimis in nature. Impacts to these wetlands were mitigated for when the previous, 1990 permit was issued. These remnant wetland areas were left because the original filling of the lot was not completed per engineering specifications."
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of historic resources within or in close proximity of the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review in the reauthorization of the previously permitted work (Corps permit number 89IPF-2008). 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 project area.
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana): The project site is 2.5 miles northeast of the Dee Dot Ranch Wood Stork nesting colony and is within the 13 mile wide Wood Stork core foraging area for Northeast Florida. Therefore, this species may be present at the project site. However, 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 > not likely to adversely affect. In consideration of the key sequence, additional coordination with the FWS is not required.
Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis): The project site is within the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker consultation area. Additionally, there are 5 Red-Cockaded Woodpecker inhabited trees within 5 miles of the project site. In consideration of this information, the Corps will review the pine species located on site and determine if additional coordination with the FWS is required.
On December 20, 2019, 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 federally listed threatened or endangered species, other than those listed above. 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 public 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 an adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries. Our final determination relative to project impacts is subject to review 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 Corps has verified the extent of Federal jurisdiction.
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 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, Terri M. Mashour, 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) 570-4512.
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. 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.