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:
LMJ Real Property, LLC
c/o Monique Agia
4905 34th Street South, #173
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect freshwater wetlands in the Tampa Bay watershed. The project site is located on the north side of Lutz Lake Fern Road, between the western Suncoast Parkway exit ramp and the entrance road to the adjacent residential development.
Directions to the site are as follows: From North Dale Mabry Highway, turn west onto Lutz Lake Fern Road. Continue on Lutz Lake Fern for approximately 3.7 miles. The property will be on the north side of the road, just west of the Suncoast Parkway.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Commercial development.
Overall: Commercial development in the vicinity of the Suncoast Parkway and Lutz Lake Fern Road in Hillsborough County to meet local demand for commercial services.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project site is located between the Suncoast Parkway exit ramp and the entrance road to a residential development. The project area consists of 0.65 acre of cypress wetlands, 3.09 acres of bottomland swamp and 0.03 acre of uplands. The adjacent entrance road and residential development was permitted under SAJ-2014-00117 on May 17, 2017.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 3.51 acres of wetlands for the construction of a commercial development.
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 applicant intends to enhance a 15 foot buffer area between the 3.51 acre wetland impact area and the avoided wetlands. Avoided wetlands total 0.23 acre. The Corps continues to evaluate the applicant’s avoidance and minimization efforts.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The applicant is required to provide forested wetland mitigation either by purchasing federal forested wetland credits at a federally approved mitigation bank, or by conducting permittee-responsible mitigation.
CULTURAL 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: The Corps has made the determination that the proposal may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the federally threatened wood stork (Mycteria americana). Potential impacts to the wood stork were evaluated using the Wood Stork Effect Determination Key dated September, 2008 (Key). The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > “not likely to adversely affect” pursuant to the Key.
The Corps has made the determination that the proposal may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the federally threatened eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Potential impacts to the eastern indigo snake were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key (Key) dated January 25, 2010, and updated August 13, 2013. The Corps has programmatic concurrence with the sequential determination of A > B > C > D > E > “not likely to adversely affect” pursuant to the Key.
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 since it would affect inland freshwater wetlands. 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: The applicant received Environmental Resource Permit Modification no. 43041806.006 from the Southwest Florida Water Management District on February 25, 2020. The state permit constitutes Water Quality Certification.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33610 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, Jessica Cordwell, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120 Tampa, Florida 33610, by telephone at (813)769-7067, by fax at (813)769-7061, or by electronic mail at Jessica.L.Cordwell@usace.army.mil.
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, aesthetics, 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.
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.