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: Sasha Eastburn Igou
297 Campbell Street
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Choctawhatchee Bay watershed. The project site is located on the south side of West Wild Blueberry Way at Lots 8, 9, and 10, Block 47 of the Magnolia Beach Subdivision, in Walton County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Pensacola, travel east along U.S. Highway 98 approximately 66 miles to Walton County Road 283 North. Turn north (left) onto Walton County Road 283 North and travel approximately 1 mile to East Point Washington Road. Turn east (right) onto East Point Washington Road and travel approximately 1 mile to Cabbage Rose Lane. Turn north (left) onto Cabbage Rose Lane and travel approximately 0.07-mile to West Wild Blueberry Way. Turn west (left) onto West Wild Blueberry Way and travel approximately 0.10-mile. The site is on the south side (left) side of West Wild Blueberry Way.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Residential Development.
Overall: Construct three single-family residences on three separate lots in the Santa Rosa Beach area of south Walton County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is three adjoining 0.172-acre single-family lots that consist predominantly of wetlands with a small area of uplands adjacent to the roadway. Specifically, Lot 8 contains 0.17-acre of wetlands and 0.002-acre of uplands, Lot 9 contains 0.162-acre of wetlands and 0.010-acre of uplands and Lot 10 contains 0.136-acre of wetlands and 0.036 acre of uplands. The onsite wetlands are classified as a freshwater palustrine system that drains north to Choctawhatchee Bay. The predominant wetland vegetation consists of slash pine (Pinus elliottii), sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana), red titi (Cyrilla racemiflora), black titi (Cliftonia monophylla), large gallberry (Ilex coriacea), and Virginia chainfern (Woodwardia areolata). According to the NRCS Soils Map, the project site is mapped as Pamlico and Leon soils types. The project area is surrounded by existing single-family residences and undeveloped parcels.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 0.251-acre of wetlands for the construction of three single-family residences and driveways on three separate single-family lots. Specifically, the wetland fill would consist of 0.098-acre on Lot 8, 0.089-acre on Lot 9 and 0.064-acre on Lot 10.
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:
Wetland avoidance is not possible due to the extent of the wetlands present on the project site. The applicant has designed the project to utilize the front portion of each lot by locating the development at the minimum front setback to avoid the wetlands in the rear of the parcel. Potential wetland impacts have been limited to 0.251-acre, out of the 0.468-acre of wetlands onsite. The remaining 0.217-acre of wetlands would remain in their natural state. A retaining wall would be constructed along the limits of fill to prevent the encroachment and runoff of sediments into the adjacent wetlands. Additional erosion control best management practices (BMP’s), such as slit fencing would be used during construction and removed upon completion of work.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
To offset direct and secondary impacts, the applicant proposes to purchase 0.19 federal mitigation bank credits from the Nokuse Mitigation Bank.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps has determined the activity is of such limited scope there is little likelihood of impact upon a historic property; therefore, the proposed project would have “No Potential to Cause Effect”.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.
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 0.25-acre of freshwater palustrine wetlands contiguous with tidal waters utilized by various life stages of black grouper, gray snapper, red drum, and penaid shrimp. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. 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 Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, Florida 32502 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, Steve Andrews Jr., in writing at the Pensacola Permits Section, 41 North Jefferson Street, Suite 301, Pensacola, Florida 32502; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at 850-433-8160; or, by telephone at 850-439-0707.
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.