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: DR Horton, Inc.
Attention: Amanda R. Fussell
2450 South Highway 29
Cantonment, Florida 32533
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with unnamed ponds that act as a tributary and connect to an excavated tributary that crosses US Highway 98, flows north and drains to St. Andrews Bay. The project site is located along the west side of Coyote Pass north of North Glades Trail and south of Grand Heron Drive in Section 36, Township 3 South, Range 18 West at Latitude 30.188321°, Longitude -85.807372°, Bay County parcel identification number 34810-030-000.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Panama City, head northeast on Richard Jackson Blvd toward Hutchinson Blvd/Middle Beach Road. Continue straight to stay on Richard Jackson Blvd. Turn right onto Grand Heron. Turn right onto Coyote Pass. The property is generally between Grand Heron Drive and North Glades Trail.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.188321 °
Basic: Residential development.
Overall: To provide residential housing on the east end of Panama City Beach, Bay County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of freshwater, man made ponds that were created as part of the golf course, surrounded by managed turf and palustrine forested wetlands consisting of hydric pine flatwoods. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of residential development.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 4.08 acres of jurisdictional surface waters within the former golf course development to allow the development of a 115-lot single family residential subdivision and 84 unit town home development including associated roadways, utilities, and stormwater management systems.
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:
All impacts to natural wetland areas have been avoided.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
The applicant is proposing to fill part of the existing system and create additional area within the existing system. As such, the existing and proposed conditions and functions of the system would remain the same. The project would increase surface water area by 72% over existing conditions, providing enhanced flood attenuation in an area that currently experiences flooding problems, which is a net positive benefit to landowners within the vicinity of the proposed project. The expansion of the existing pond areas would provide a net increase of habitat. Therefore, there is no net loss of resources associated with the project and no compensatory mitigation is proposed.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By letter dated February 25, 2020, the Corps provided a Cultural Resource Assessment Survey and requested concurrence with the determination of no effect to historic resources. By letter dated March 23, 2020, the Tribal Historic Preservation Office had no objections to the project. By email dated May 15, 2020, the State Historic Preservation Office concurred that the project is unlikely to affect historic properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places, or otherwise of historic, architectural or archaeological value within the area of potential effect.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: Review of the project in accordance with the Florida Programmatic Concurrence and Key dated January 25, 2010, results in a Not Likely to Adversely Affect determination for the Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) provided the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake (Service 2013) would be used during site preparation and construction. Because the project area was a mowed and maintained golf course, the Corps determined no effect for the red cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis).
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 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 email@example.com; 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.