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: Mr. Jason Bense
1901 North East Avenue
Panama City, Florida 32405
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with unnamed wetlands that drain to North Bay. The project site is located at Highway 389 and Dundee Lane in Section 15, Township 3 South, Range West, Lynn Haven, Bay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of Highway 77 and Highway 231 in Panama City, continue west on Highway 231 for approximately 2 miles. Turn left (north) onto Highway 389/North East Avenue for approximately 1.64 miles. The property is located on the left side (east) of Highway 389.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.224131° N
Longitude -85.631576° W
Basic: Residential development.
Overall: To construct a moderate income 84-lot single-family residential development in east Lynn Haven to fulfill an increased demand in residential housing within the City of Lynn Haven, Bay County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project is a 31 acre infill project surrounded by residential development. The property consists of 13.8 acres of uplands and 17.23 acres of wetlands. The wetlands are ruderal growth areas that were pasturelands associated with a dairy farm that operated in the area for over 50 years, closing in 1987. Vegetation within the wetland impact areas consists primarily of monotypic stands of titi (Cyrilla racemiflora and Cliftonia monophylla) and slash pine (Pinus elliottii) which were heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael. Other vegetation includes southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), water oak (Quercus nigra), blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), gallberry (Ilex glabra), and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of single family residential development on the north, south, and east. To the west of the project area is McCain Creek and to the west of McCain Creek is also a single family residential development.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to impact 13.16 acres of jurisdictional wetlands associated with the proposed construction of an 84-lot single family subdivision and associated roads, infrastructure, and storm water facilities.
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 original project area considered an additional 5 acres to the east with the entire proposed development connecting through the existing Mowat Highlands subdivision. A pre-application meeting with the local government resulted in the need for another outlet to Highway 389 in addition to the proposed Mowat Highlands outlet. The requirement for this ingress/egress point led to the acquisition of a 5 acre parcel south that has since been merged into the subject property. This property and the parcel to the east referenced above both contained upland and wetland areas. Considering acquisition costs, development costs, and the need to minimize wetland impacts to the maximum extent possible, a determination was made that including all of the additional area in the project was not feasible. As such, a decision was made to keep the 5 acre parcel on Highway 389 for the required ingress/egress and eliminate the other 5 acres to the east which in turn minimized potential wetland impacts.
With the project boundaries identified, the original planned development included 95 lots and impact of all of the onsite wetlands. Cypress Environmental subsequently identified the quality of the onsite wetlands. The highest functioning wetlands within the project area were identified as the wetlands along McCain Creek and two mixed forested areas in the southern extent of the property. The layout was then re-designed from 95 lots to 84 lots to avoid impact to these areas.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
To offset the direct and secondary wetland impacts, the applicant is proposing to purchase 7.07 forested wetland credits from the Breakfast Point Mitigation Bank.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: 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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) based on a programmatic consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the use of Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake. For red cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis), a determination of no effect was made. For Panama City crayfish (Procambarus econfinae), a determination of MANLAA was made and the Corps will request FWS concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Boulevard, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 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, Mrs. Lisa S. Lovvorn, in writing at the Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Boulevard, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32405; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (850) 285-9533.
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.