Public Notice Notifications

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SAJ-1999-02975(SP-RHF)

Published July 23, 2020
Expiration date: 8/22/2020
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:

APPLICANT: Foundry Commercial Acquisitions, LLC
c/o Pryse Elam
225 NE Mizner Boulevard, Suite 230
Boca Raton, FL 33432

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated within the Middle River Canal sub-watershed (HUC 030902061202). The site is located west of Hiatus Road and North of NW 44th Street, within Section 18, Township 49 South, Range 41 East, Sunrise, Broward County, Florida

Directions to the site are as follows: Take the Sawgrass Expressway to Commercial Boulevard East. Head South on Hiatus Road. The project site is located on the west side of Hiatus Road between NW 44th Street and NW 50th Street.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Latitude: 26.18305°
Longitude: -80.29361°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is to construct an industrial development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct an industrial development in Sunrise, Florida.

PERMIT HISTORY: A Corps permit issued on September 17, 2002 (SAJ-1999-02975 (IP-DSG) authorized fill of approximately 3.66 acres of waters of the US to construct an industrial park. The proposed facilities were not constructed.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is approximately 133.3 acres and is comprised of approximately 17.97 acres of surface waters, 3.61 acres of herbaceous freshwater wetlands, and 111.72 acres of uplands.


The landscape of the project area can be characterized as improved pasture with pockets of dense exotic vegetation and an internal lake system. The tree strata on site consists of melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia), Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia), bishopwood (Bischofia javanica), black olive (Terminalia buceras), bottlebrush (Melaleuca viminalis), bischofia (Bischofia javanica), Christmas palm (Veitchia merrillii), carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardioides), tropical almond (Terminalia catappa), mahoe (Talipariti tiliaceum) and earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis). The site also includes limited coverage of native species including live and laurel oak (Quercus virginiana) and Q. laurifolia, strangler fig (Ficus aurea), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), myrsine (Myrsine cubana), gumbo limbo (Bursera simaruba), and mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni).

The shrub and ground cover stratas on site consists of a mixture of native and exotic species including day blooming jessamine (Cestrum diurnam), dogfennel (Eupatorium cappillifolium), cocoplum (Chrysobalanus icaco), largeflower Mexican clover (Richardia grandiflora), shrubby false buttonweed (Spermacoce verticillata), Jack-in-the-bush (Chromolaena odorata), myrsine (Myrsine cubana), beggarticks (Bidens alba), wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa), wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia), pineland heliotrope (Euploca polyphylla), candlestick plant (Senna alata), green buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus), soda apple (Solanum capsicoides), and apple guava (Psidium guajava).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes construction of an industrial development. The proposed 133.3-acre project entails impacts 2.18 acres of herbaceous freshwater wetlands with approximately 5,281 cubic yards of clean fill and excavation of 1.42 acres of herbaceous freshwater wetlands. The proposed work will also require filling of 17.10-acre of surface waters with approximately 411,837 of clean fill. The proposal also includes creation of 3.61 acres of wetlands on the western edge of the project site.

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:

“Alternative site plans were considered to attempt to reduce the impacts to WOTUS. Due to water management, building layout and internal roads, etc. there is not an additional alternate site plan that can be devised to attempt to reduce impacts to wetlands. The wetlands on the site exist as fairly uniform hydrologically altered, heavily impacted herbaceous wetlands in an urban setting scattered across the four (4) parcels. There are no areas of the wetlands that are significantly higher quality than other portions of the wetlands. Therefore, it was not feasible or necessary to attempt to prefer one area over another in laying out alternate plans. Rather, attempts were made to reduce the impacts to the maximum extent while keeping necessary components.”

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

“Mitigation for unavoidable impacts to low quality, isolated, herbaceous wetlands will be fully compensated by the creation of 3.61 acres of wetlands on the western edge of the property.”

CULTURAL RESOURCES:

The Corps is aware of historic property/properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and if applicable, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:

The project is within the range and consultation area of the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Everglade snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida’s Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus), and wood stork (Mycteria americana).

• The project site is located in an area where the eastern indigo snake may occur. The Corps has determined the proposal may affect the eastern indigo snake. The project site contains approximately more than 25 acres of potential eastern indigo snake habitat. By use of the FWS revised Eastern Indigo Snake Key dated August 1, 2017, the following key sequence A>B>C would result in a “May Affect” determination. The applicant will agree to conditions requiring that all gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, will be excavated prior to site manipulation in the vicinity of the burrow. If an eastern indigo snake is encountered, the snake must be allowed to vacate the area prior to additional site manipulation in the vicinity. Any permit will also be conditioned such that holes, cavities, and snake refugia other than gopher tortoise burrows will be inspected each morning before planned site manipulation of a particular area, and, if occupied by an eastern indigo snake, no work will commence until the snake has vacated the vicinity of proposed work. Further consultation with FWS will be required.

• The project is within the consultation area for the Everglades Snail Kite. Kite foraging habitat consists of relatively shallow wetland vegetation, either within extensive marsh systems, or in lake littoral zones. Snail kite nesting substrate is typically located over open water at a distance of approximately 150 meters from the edge of water to provide protection to the nest. The wetland present on site may provide foraging habitat for the Everglades snail kite. The trees on site, primarily melaleuca, Brazilian pepper, and Australian pine and are not likely suitable for nesting. The site lacks the typical suitable habitat as much of the site is densely vegetated with non-native plant coverage or is deep water lake. Furthermore, there have been no snail kites observed on site. Based on the above information, the Corps has determined that the proposed work is not likely to adversely affect the Everglades Snail Kite.

• The proposed activity is located within the Consultation Area for the Florida bonneted bat and the Urban Bat Area. The Florida Bonneted Bat Consultation Key Guidelines (2019) state that projects within the Urban Bat Area cannot utilize the programmatic key. Due to the presence of some suitable roosting trees and foraging areas, the applicant has conducted a full acoustic survey. The Corps has determined that the proposed work may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Florida Bonneted bat, but further consultation will be required.

• Not Likely to Adversely Affect the wood stork. The applicant has proposed compensation for wetland impacts through the use of onsite wetland mitigation. By use of the FWS Wood Stork Key dated January 25, 2010 and the May 18, 2010 addendum, the following key sequence A>B>C>E would result in a “Not Likely to Adversely Affect” (NLAA) determination. Any loss of wood stork foraging biomass resulting from the proposed activity will be compensated for through the proposed onsite mitigation. The applicant will be required to provide a prey based foraging analysis for the proposed impacts and mitigation.

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 3.61 acres of freshwater herbaceous wetlands and 17.91 acres of surface waters. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. 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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 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, Trey Fraley, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at robert.h.fraley@usace.army.mil, or, by telephone at (561) 472-3526.

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.