Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

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SAJ-2020-01802 (SP-MRE)

Published May 20, 2020
Expiration date: 6/10/2020

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:

                       Attn: Mr. Ron LeGrand
                       9799 Old St. Augustine Road
                       Jacksonville, Florida 32257

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Sal Taylor Creek. The project site is located at 12250 Normandy Boulevard (Duval County Property Appraiser Parcel Identification Number 002185-0000) in Section 11, Township 3 South, Range 24 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.

                                                                          Longitude -81.869690°


Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is the establishment of a commercial equipment leasing business serving the Cecil Commerce Center and surrounding agricultural areas.


General: The site currently encompasses a single-family residence, located in uplands immediately adjacent to Normandy Boulevard. The remainder of the site is comprised of forested uplands and wetlands. The site was previously zoned for a Planned Unit Development (PUD), though no history of federal or state permitting efforts has been identified.

Soils: The Soil Survey of City of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service) identifies three soil types at the project site. These soils types are Boulogne fine sand (map unit 14); Evergreen- Wesconnett complex, depressional (map unit 22); and Lynn-Haven fine sand (map unit 35).

Vegetative Communities: The project site encompasses three communities characterized by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS).

1. Residential, Low Density (FLUCFCS code 110; 0.43 acre): The subject property is primarily utilized as a single-family residence. On-site features include a pre-fabricated residence, housing pad, and driveway. The property is accessed from Normandy Boulevard. The majority of the maintained lawn area is dominated by bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum). A drainage ditch traverses the western property edge and connects to the roadside ditch associated with Normandy Boulevard.

2. Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS code 411; 3.88 acres): These areas are dominated by slash pine (Pinus elliottii), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), red maple (Acer rubrum), saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), gallberry (Ilex glabra), and bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum).

3. Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS code 630; 10.36 acres): The on-site wetlands are dominated by bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), swamp tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica var. biflora), slash pine, and red maple. Vegetation in the lower strata includes fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), gallberry, cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), and Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material over a total of 5.42 acres of wetlands to facilitate the construction of a new commercial facility, including a commercial office, access driveway, storage yard, maintenance facility, attendant structures, infrastructure, and associated stormwater management facility

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 has identified a need for equipment leasing opportunities for existing commercial, warehouse, and agricultural businesses in western Duval County; specifically, commercial warehouse facilities within the Cecil Commerce Center and surrounding areas. The commercial development requires a commercial office/rental area for customers as well as a storage and maintenance yard for rental equipment. In order to minimize the footprint, the applicant proposes to utilize the existing road frontage along Normandy Boulevard for the office/rental area and site the storage and maintenance yard in the southwestern portion of the property, utilizing on-site uplands to the greatest extent practicable. This site configuration requires the construction of a driveway across on-site wetlands between the rental area and the equipment storage yard. All portions of the facility have been minimized in scope to the minimum sizes necessary to accommodate the proposed business, equipment storage, maintenance facility, stormwater treatment, and vehicle access geometry for equipment hauling trailers.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

As mitigation for the proposed 5.42 acres of work affecting wetlands, the applicant proposes to purchase 3.79 Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) mitigation bank credits from Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank. Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank is a federally approved mitigation bank with a service area encompassing the project site. A UMAM analysis was performed to demonstrate that the purchase of 3.79 credits will offset the proposed impacts.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. The applicant’s agent reviewed the City of Jacksonville Archaeological Sensitivity Map. That data indicated that the project is located in an area of low probability for archaeological or cultural resources. Further, no documented cemeteries, landmarks, or structures eligible for listing in the National Historic Register are documented near the project site. 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.


Red Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis): The project site is approximately 10.5 miles from the nearest identified nest or cluster location for Red Cockaded Woodpecker; and, within the consultation area identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Corps for this species. Therefore, Red Cockaded Woodpecker may utilize the project site. Habitat for Red Cockaded Woodpecker typically incorporates mature pine woodlands (not wetlands); and, optimal habitat is characterized as a broad savanna with a scattered overstory of large pines and a dense groundcover containing a diversity of grass and shrub species. Nesting and roosting occur in cavity trees that are almost exclusively old, living, flat-topped pine trees. The project site does not encompass typical or optimum habitat; or, trees capable of supporting cavities. It is likely that this species only opportunistically forages at the site. However, as significant forested habitat is located near the project site, the development of the site would not preclude opportunistic foraging in the vicinity of the project site. Therefore, the Corps concludes that the project would have no effect on this species.

Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): Eastern Indigo Snake frequents several habitat types, including pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, high pine, dry prairie, tropical hardwood hammocks, edges of freshwater marshes, agricultural fields, coastal dunes, and human-altered habitats. Therefore, this species could utilize the area encompassed by the ESA scope of analysis for this project. Gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows are commonly utilized as refuge from winter cold and/or desiccating conditions in xeric habitats; and, hollowed root channels, hollow logs, or burrows of rodents, armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), or land crabs (Cardisoma guanhumi) provide shelter in wetter habitats. The site does not support gopher tortoise burrows nor xeric habitat. In consideration of the potential presence of eastern indigo snake habitat, the Corps utilized The Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, August 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, as the applicant has agreed to implement the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake, August 12, 2013. The FWS has indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the key for eastern indigo snakes; and, that no additional consultation is necessary.

The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.

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 project does not affect marine or estuarine habitat nor EFH. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not adversely affect EFH or federally managed fisheries in the St. Johns River. 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 on-site wetlands were delineated pursuant to Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual (1987) and Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Region (Version 2.0) (2010). Corps personnel have not verified the proposed delineation of wetlands.

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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 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, Mark R. Evans, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at; by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1940; or, by telephone at (904)232-2028. Please note, due to office staffing precautions associated with CoVid-19, electronic mail correspondence is preferred.

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.