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: Lennar Jacksonville
Attn: Mr. Scott Keiling
9440 Philips Highways, Suite 7
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States, including wetlands, associated with the St. Johns River. The proposed project site is located near 3450 County Road 210, in Sections 11, 13, 14, 23, and 24, Township 5 South, Range 27 East, St. Johns, St. Johns County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate-95 take Exit 333 and head south. The road merges onto County Road 2209 and head south. Proceed until the intersection of County Road 210 and turn left. Proceed for approximately 1.6 miles and the proposed project site is on the right-side of County Road 210.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.062335°°
Basic: The basic project purpose is mixed-use development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is mixed-use development in Northwest St. Johns County, Florida.
a. Soils: According to the Soil Survey of St. Johns County, Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service) the following soil types are mapped within the project area: Myakka-Myakka, wet, fine sands; St. Johns fine sand, depressional; Tavares fine sand; Zolfo fine sand; Smyrna-Smyrna, wet, fine sand; Ona-Ona, wet, fine sand; St. Johns fine sand; Samsula muck, frequently ponded; Tomoka muck; Sparr fine sand; and Holopaw fine sand, frequently flooded.
b. Site Description: Land use/land cover types were classified using the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS, 1999).
(1) Coniferous Plantations (FLUCFCS 441) – Dominant vegetation includes slash pine (Pinus elliottii), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), live oak (Quercus virginiana), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), gallberry (Ilex glabra), poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), shiny blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites), and muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia).
(2) Hydric Coniferous Plantations (FLUCFCS 441H) – The canopy is predominately slash pine. Ground cover consists of gallberry, wax myrtle, cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum), royal fern (Osmunda regalis), Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), and netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolata).
(3) Reservoirs less than 10 acres that are dominant features (FLUCFCS 534) – Four permitted storm water ponds are located on the west property boundary.
(4) Inland Ponds and Sloughs (FLUCFCS 616) – Dominant vegetation includes swamp tupelo (Nyssa biflora), wax myrtle, red maple (Acer rubrum), swamp bay (Persea palustris), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), royal fern, lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus), Virginia chain fern, and sphagnum moss (Sphagnum Spp.).
(5) Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS 630) - Dominant vegetation includes bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), red maple, loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), water oak (Quercus nigra), laurel oak, and swamp tupelo. Ground cover consists of Virginia chain fern, and royal fern.
(6) Electrical Power Transmission Lines (FLUCFCS 832) – An electrical transmission easement is located along the northern property boundary.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks a 10-year authorization to discharge clean-fill material into 14.21 acres of palustrine-forested wetlands and convert 0.83-acre of palustrine-forested wetlands to emergent wetlands to facilitate the construction of a mixed-use development to include single-family residential development, golf course, stormwater management facilities, 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:
“Several design elements and considerations were utilized to avoid and minimize wetland impacts to the fullest practicable extent in the currently proposed project design. Careful consideration was given to the extent and location of the site plan components to minimize wetland impacts while maintaining necessary requirements to meet project objectives. Where possible, existing trail roads and wetland crossings were incorporated in the design plans to reduce wetland impact footprints. The applicant is proposing to preserve 353-acres± of wetlands to offset a portion of the wetland impacts.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“The proposed project will incur 15.04-acres± of direct wetland impacts that will require mitigation. Mitigation will be accomplished through the purchase of 9.98 UMAM credits from St. Johns Mitigation Bank.”
The Corps is aware of historic property/properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.
a. Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) - The Corps has initially determined the proposed project may affect the Wood Stork or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will utilize the “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, and request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
b. Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi) - The Corps has initially determined the proposal may affect the Eastern Indigo Snake or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will utilize “The Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, August 2013” and request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 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. The jurisdictional line has 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019 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, 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.