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: The Cocoa Grand, LLC
Attn: Mr. Juston Trimback
251 Shearer Boulevard
Cocoa, Florida 32922
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The proposed project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Upper St. Johns Hydrologic Unit (Hydrologic Unit Code 030800101). The project site is located on the south side of SR 520, in Section 31, Township 24 South and Range 36 East; Cocoa, Brevard County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95, take exit 201 State Road 520/ W King Street and drive east for 1.8 miles. The site is on the south side of SR 520.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 28.351014°
Basic: Mixed use commercial and residential
Overall: Construction of mixed use commercial and residential development in Brevard County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed site is an approximately 133 acre undeveloped lot that consists of several historically dredged borrow ponds.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 10.96 acres of waters of the United States (7.22 acres of wetlands and 3.74 acres of surface waters) for the Cocoa Grand project.
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 property consists of historically dredged borrow ponds and low quality wetlands. 31.05 acres of wetlands will remain post development. Silt fence will be installed along the development boundaries. Mitigation will be provided by purchasing 3.33 mitigation credits from the Lake Washington Mitigation Bank.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“Mitigation will be provided by purchasing 3.33 mitigation credits from the Lake Washington Mitigation Bank.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The US Army Corps of Engineers (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.
Wood Stork: Wood Stork: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork and its designated critical habitat. The Corps completed an evaluation of the project based upon the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) North Florida Ecological Services Field Offices Programmatic Concurrence for use with the Wood Stork (September 2008). Use of the Key for Wood Stork resulted in the following sequential determination: A (The project is more than 2,500 feet from a colony site.) > B (Project impacts SFH) >C (Impacts to SFH > 0.5 acres) >D (Project impacts to SFH not within the Core Foraging Area of a colony site, and no wood storks have been documented foraging on site = “not likely to adversely affect” for wood storks. The Corps has FWS concurrence for the proposed activities through the use of the aforementioned determination key.
Eastern Indigo Snake: Eastern Indigo Snake: Eastern Indigo Snake: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake and its designated critical habitat. Based upon review of the Corps and Service’s Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key (dated August 13, 2013), the proposed project resulted in the following sequential determination: A (The project is not located in open water or salt marsh.) >B (The permit will be conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and protection construction.) >C (There are gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities) >D (The project will impact less than 25 acres of xeric habitat supporting less than 25 active and inactive gopher tortoise burrows) >E (Permit will be conditioned such that all gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, will be evacuated prior to site manipulation in the vicinity of the burrow. If an indigo snake is encountered, the snake must be allowed to vacate the area prior to additional site manipulation in the vicinity. Any permit will be conditioned such that holes, cavities, and snake refugia other than gopher tortoise burrows will be inspected each morning before planned site manipulation of a particular area, and, if occupied by an indigo snake, no work will commence until the snake has vacated the vicinity of proposed work) = “not likely to adversely affect” for the Eastern indigo snake. The permit will be conditioned with the Standard Construction Guidelines for the Eastern Indigo Snake. No further consultation was required.
Based on existing habitat types, the Corps preliminarily determined the project will have no effect on Audubon’s Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus audubonii), Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), and Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens).
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. The proposal would impact approximately 10.96 acres of freshwater wetlands and surface waters which ultimately discharge to the St. Johns River. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on downstream EFH or federally managed fisheries. 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 (NMFS).
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 Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926, 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, Brandon J. Conroy, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (321) 504-3803; or, by telephone at (321) 504-3771 x11.
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 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.