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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:
APPLICANT: City of Jacksonville
Attn: William Joyce, Operations Director
214 North Hogan Street, 10th Floor
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) hydrologically connected to Deep Bottom Creek and the St. Johns River. The project site is located approximately 0.40 acre west of the intersection of Hartley Road and Old St. Augustine Road on the west side of Hartley Road, in Sections 5, Township 4 South, Range 27 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Directions to the site: From the Interstate 295 east beltway, take the Old St. Augustine Road exit and travel north on Old St. Augustine Road. At the Hartley Road and Old St. Augustine Road intersection, take a left and travel west for approximately 0.40 mile. The project site location is located on the south side of Hartley Road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.18398°
Basic: The basic project purpose is to improve stormwater management.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to improve stormwater management to alleviate flooding in the residential neighborhood in the Mandarin area of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
a. General: The site is 5.06 acres. Site specific elevation for the project area shows elevations between 35-55 feet NGVD, with the highest elevations located along the eastern edge of the property. Hydrology onsite generally flows in the west-south west direction across the site where it then flows offsite into a drainage ditch that drains south leading to the Deep Bottom Creek system.
b. Soils: The Soil Survey of the City of Jacksonville, Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service) identifies five different soil types on the subject project site. The soils map appears to be generally accurate based upon field observations, though disturbance was noted in some areas. A description of each soil type can be found below:
(1) Pelham fine sand, 0 to 2 percent slopes (51). Pelham fine sand is a nearly level, poorly drained soil found in flats. Generally, the high water table is at a depth of less than 12 inches during normal years. The surface layer is very dark gray fine sand about six inches thick. The underlying layer consists of grayish brown fine sand extending from 6 to 14 inches.
(2) Sapelo fine sand, 0 to 2 percent slopes (63). Sapelo fine sand is a nearly level, poorly drained soil found in flatwoods. Generally, the high water table is at a depth of 6 to 18 inches from January through October. The surface layer is black fine sand about three inches thick. The underlying layers consist of dark gray fine sand extending from three to six inches, and light brownish gray fine sand extending from 6 to 23 inches.
(3) Surrency loamy fine sand, depressional, 0 to 2 percent slope (66). Surrency loamy fine sand is a nearly level, very poorly drained soil found in depressions. Generally, the high water table is at or above the soil surface for very long periods
c. Vegetative Communities: This site contains four generalized community types/land use. The following community descriptions are derived from the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS) handbook (Florida Department of Transportation Surveying and Mapping Office Thematic Mapping Section. January 1999). Detailed descriptions of each on-site community are found is below:
(1) Pine-Mesic Oak: 3.15 acres (FLUCFCS 414) - This land type exists throughout the majority of the parcel. Canopy and subcanopy species include loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), slash pine (Pinus elliottii), red maple (Acer rubrum), camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), water oak (Quercus nigra), and Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera). Understory and groundcover include wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), coral ardesia (Ardisia crenata), black berry (Rubus sp.), azalea (Rhododendron sp.), and Boston sword fern (Nephrolepis sp.).
(2) Streams and Waterways: 1.12 acres (FLUCFCS 510) - This land type exists in the form of upland cut ditches within the property. There are ditches that run south from Hartley Rd to approximately halfway into the parcel. In addition, there are ditches just outside the parcel boundary along the north, west, and south perimeters of the parcel.
(3) Wetland Forested Mixed 0.57 acres (FLUCFCS 630) - This land type is located in the northwest corner of the parcel and makes up the only wetland within the parcel. Canopy species include loblolly pine, bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), and water oak. Subcanopy species include camphor, water oak, and bald cypress. Understory and groundcover include wax myrtle, royal fern (Osmunda regalis), Virginia chainfern (Woodwardia virginica), Boston sword fern, cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), and various sedge species (Carex spp.).
(4) Roads and Highways 0.22 acres (FLUCFCS 814) - There is a trail road that enters from Hartley Road in the center of the property and extends south for approximately two-thirds of the parcel.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material into 0.57 acre of waters of the United States (freshwater forested wetlands) to create a regional stormwater pond and conduct improvements of surrounding drainage into and out of the proposed pond. Hartley Road would also be improved to accommodate stormwater pipes into the proposed pond. Additionally, a 0.09 acre segment of Deep Bottom Creek on the southwest side of the proposed pond would be regraded to facilitate adequate drainage. The existing culvert that crosses Hartley Road would be abandoned. A weir structure would be installed in the south west corner of the proposed stormwater pond that would allow for the return of water to Deep Bottom Creek. The goal would be to alleviate local flooding and to treat stormwater runoff in the pond where excess nutrients and other pollutants would filter to the bottom before the waters reach Deep Bottom Creek and the St. Johns River. Best management practices would be required in project construction.
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:
During the alternative analysis, several design elements and considerations were utilized to avoid and minimize wetland impacts to greatest extent practical in the currently proposed project design. Alternatives at the current project design are limited due to the location of the wetland community on-site, and due to the need to maximize the stormwater storage functionality of the proposed pond for the benefit of the surrounding drainage region. The proposed wetland impacts are necessary to ensure a functional and feasible site plan. The project will have no impact upon unique resources and appropriate mitigation will be provided to offset the proposed impacts.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
To compensate for the proposed impacts, the applicant proposes a mitigation plan including the purchase of 0.35 freshwater wetland credits from Loblolly Mitigation Bank. The amount of required credit(s) were determine through the Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of cultural or historic resources on site. 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 project area.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed work is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) based on The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork In Central And North Peninsular Florida September 2008. Therefore, additional coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not required.
The Corps has determined the proposed work is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern indigo snake based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key January 2010. Therefore, additional coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not required.
The Corps has determined the proposed work would have no effect on the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis). Therefore, additional coordination with the U.S. 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. There is no EFH found within the project area. The Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed action would have no 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 15 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.