TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: This District 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: Aquarela Homes, Inc.
8000 West 24th Avenue, Bay 1
Hialeah, FL 33016
WATERWAY & LOCATION: The proposed project is located in freshwater wetlands in the northeast corner of the intersection at S.W. 344th Street and S.W. 172nd Avenue north of the South Dade Wetlands Basin in Miami-Dade County. The project is within Section 19, Township 57 South, Range 39 East.
DIRECTIONS TO SITE: From the Florida Turnpike heading South, take Exit 1 (the terminal point of the Turnpike) onto US-1. Make an immediate left onto Palm Drive (SW 344 St.) and head east. Turn north on S.W. 172nd Avenue. The subject site is at the northeast corner of the intersection of S.W. 344th Street and S.W. 172nd Avenue.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 25.4455560º
Basic: The basic purpose is to construct residential housing.
Overall: The overall purpose of this application is to construct a multi-family residential complex in southeastern Miami-Dade County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project is located due north of the South Dade Wetlands Basin, characterized as historically being a short- to moderate- hydroperiod wetland community. The freshwater wetlands affected by this component of the project are characterized as 11.24 acres of Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) dominated wetlands and 9.7 acres of Burma reed (Neyraudia reyaudiana). Leatherfern (Acrostichum danaeifolium), willow (Salix carolinaiana), shoebutton Ardisia (Ardisia elliptica), Bischofia javanica, and Royal palm (Roystonea elata) are present. The soils present were marl and standing water was present throughout the site.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicants propose to impact 20.94 acres of freshwater wetlands for construction of a residential development and its associated stormwater treatment areas.
Specifically, the applicant proposes to place 112,933 cubic yards of fill in 20.94 acres of freshwater wetlands to construct the proposed development.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant has proposed to mitigate for 20.94 acres of wetlands by purchasing federal mitigation credits at the Hole-in-the-Donut in-lieu fee program.
HISTORIC/ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES: 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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: A preliminary review the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Protected Resource Divisions (NMFS-PRD)’s list of Endangered and Threatened Species indicates the following listed species may occur in the project area:
The Corps has made the determination that the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the wood stork (Mycteria americana). The Corps has also made the determination that the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarclbon corais couperi). The Corps will seek programmatic concurrence with these determinations from the Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the two aforementioned species.
The Corps has determined that the project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the Florida· panther (Puma (Felis) concolor coryi) or the Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus) The Corps will initiate informal correspondence with the Fish and Wildlife Service, via separate letter, pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for impacts to these species.
This notice serves as request for information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Protected Resource Division, and any other interested party, on whether any species listed or proposed for listing may be present in the area.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: 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 snapper-grouper complex. 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 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33176 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, Megan Clouser, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33176; by electronic mail at Megan.L.Clouser@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (305)526-7182.
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.