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: John Fletcher
1579 Wild Fern Drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32003
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) that are part of Moccasin Slough, which is hydrologically connected to the St. Johns River. The project site is located on the north side of Rivers Edge Court at the corner where the road turns east, in Section 27 Township 4 South, Range 26 East, Fleming Island, Clay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Travel south on United States 17/Park Avenue from Orange Park. Turn left onto Raggedy Point Road. Turn left onto Raggedy Point Road again. Turn left onto Rivers Edge Court. Project site location will be immediately on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.118331°
Basic: The basic project purpose is to construct a single family residence.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a single family residence in the Raggedy Point subdivision within Clay County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 12.78 acre site is located within and just south of Moccasin Slough, which borders the St. Johns River, and within the Raggedy Point Estates Subdivision. The parcel consists of a grassy cleared area near the road and then continues north out into Moccasin Slough, then east to the St. Johns River. On-site land use types/vegetative communities were identified utilizing the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System, Level III (FLUCCS, FDOT, 1999). The on-site land use types/vegetative communities include: Mixed Wetland Hardwoods (FLUCCS 6170): 7.80 acres, Mixed Scrub-Shrub Wetland (FLUCCS 6460): 2.68 acres, Upland Mixed-Coniferous/Hardwood (FLUCCS 4340): 1.35 acres of upland mixed coniferous/hardwood forest, Wet Prairie (FLUCCS 6430): 0.93 acre, and Streams and waterways (FLUCCS 5100): 0.02 acre. There are three additional homes along Rivers Edge Court with a private community dock where Rivers Edge Court terminates into the St. Johns River.
PROJECT HISTORY: The Raggedy Point Estates subdivision was permitted under SAJ-1993-01537 on October 20, 2010 and the permit expired on October 20, 2015. The permit allowed 0.08 acre of fill on the site of the subject property. The fill was never placed on the property. A new owner purchased the property recently; the application was assigned a new project number: SAJ-2020-01107. The new owner has determined that additional impacts are needed for a larger home; therefore, they are applying for a new permit.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material over a total of 0.23 acre of waters of the United States for a single family residence on the southern portion of the 12.85-acre site. Best management practices would be required in project construction. The applicant aims to begin construction as soon as permits are acquired and construction completion is estimated at 4 – 6 months.
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 proposed house is being placed in the southeastern corner of the property where there is the greatest amount of existing uplands. The proposed driveway is being constructed so that it is parallel to the house and the road, thereby allowing the driveway to be of sufficient size for the home while not requiring that the house be pushed to the north to accommodate for the length of the driveway. The property can connect to city water and sewer and therefore will not need a well or septic drain field. The project has taken into account all of these environmental considerations in order to create a plan of development that avoids unnecessary environmental impacts while also minimizing the unavoidable impacts in order to achieve the project goals.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The proposed wetland impacts have been evaluated pursuant to the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM). 0.12 credits will be purchased from Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank (SAJ-2008-04782), which is in the same mitigation basin as the project. This will compensate for the wetlands impacts on the property.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of historic property within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Therefore, additional coordination with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is not required.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This public notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The applicant indicates that the project would not impact essential fish habitat as there is none located on site. The Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH. Our final determination relative to project impacts is subject to review 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 Corps has verified the extent of Federal jurisdiction.
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 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, Terri M. Mashour, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (904) 232-1940; or, by telephone at (904) 570-4512.
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.