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) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Dale L. Bittner
10 Azalea Drive
Key West, FL 33040
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The project site is located on a vacant jurisdictional wetland parcel at Sugarloaf Drive; legally described as Tract F Replat Lots 1-2 of Sugarloaf Shores subdivision; PB7-33; in Section 03, Township 67 South, Range 27 East, Sugarloaf Key, Monroe County, Florida 33042 (RE# 00163011-000600)( MM± 16.8-Ocean).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Miami, drive south on U.S. 1, Overseas Highway, to approximately mile marker 16.8; turn left onto Sugarloaf Boulevard and then turn left onto Sugarloaf Drive. The project site would be located on a vacant lot that sits between 43 and 73 of Sugarloaf Drive.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.64548° North
Longitude -81.564364° West
Basic: The basic project purpose is to provide shelter with water/boating access and provide shoreline stabilization.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a single-family residence with associated infrastructures, install a dock for water/boating access and provide shoreline stabilization for a property in Sugarloaf Key, Monroe County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The property is located within a developed subdivision of Sugarloaf Key, Monroe County Florida. The property is bordered by a 35’-40’ wide man-made canal on the north, a paved road on the south, a parcel undergoing development on the west and an undeveloped wetland lot with similar conditions to the project site on the east. The parcel’s shoreline is densely vegetated with mature and shrub red and black mangroves. The parcel proposed to receive fill material for development has been identified as intertidal saltmarsh wetland dominated by red and black mangroves and green buttonwood. No corals or seagrass have been identified within the project footprint.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place 791.8 cubic yards (y³) of clean fill material within in 14,253 square feet (ft²) of jurisdictional wetlands for the construction of a residence and associated appurtenances; to place 21 y³ of 2’-1’ diameter boulders on filter fabric within 378.6 ft² area for shoreline stabilization; to install a 216 ft² t-shaped wood dock consisting of a 14-foot long by 4-foot wide access walkway leading to an 8-foot by 20-foot terminal platform with an elevation of 5 feet above the mean high water line (MHWL) and with ten (10) 10” diameter wood supporting piles; to install temporary filter fencing along the perimeter of the property to isolate the construction site and prevent the displacement of fill material into adjacent waters of the Unites states and to avoid the remaining 2,069 ft² of on-site wetlands, as depicted on the attached work plans (10 pages). Work is in Water of the United States, in accordance with the enclosed site work plans (10 pages).
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:
Temporary turbidity curtains will be deployed for the duration of all construction activities, in/over waters of the United States.
Temporary filter fencing will be installed prior to the discharge of any fill material as to prevent the spillage of fill material into the adjacent waters of the U.S. including wetlands. Additionally, the applicant proposes to avoid and preserve in perpetuity the remaining 2,069 ft² area of shoreline mangrove dominated wetlands.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: If mitigation is required by the Army Corps of Engineers the appropriate mitigation will be determined with a UMAM and payment made to Keys Restoration Fund.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. 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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). Since the proposal by the applicant is for in-water construction, potential impacts to the endangered West Indian manatee were evaluated using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013 (Key). Use of the Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > G > H > I > N > 0 > P (4), may affect, not likely to adversely affect “MANLAA”. This determination is partially based on the implementation of the Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work, 2011. By letter dated April 25, 2013, the Corps received concurrence from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding MANLAA determinations for the West Indian manatee in accordance with 50 CFR 402.14(b)1 and pursuant to the Key. No further coordination with the FWS is required.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).
The project is located within American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus) consultation area. According to the 28 October 2014 American Crocodile Key, the property does not support suitable nesting habitat for the crocodile as the shoreline is densely vegetated. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence #2 may affect, not likely to adversely affect. Therefore, the Corps has reached a “may affect not likely to adversely affect” determination on the American crocodile and its suitable nesting habitat.
The real estate parcel number is 00163011-000600 and is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County for the following species: Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi, Key deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium), Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri), and Silver rice rat (Oryzomys palustris natator) focus area. The Corps initial determination is that the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the aforementioned species and designated habitat. The Corps will request Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with these determinations via a separate letter pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect (“MANLAA”) the swimming green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their designated critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), kemps ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), and the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) species. A no effect determination was reached on smalltooth sawfish critical habitat, Acorpora sp. and its designated critical habitat and corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 14,253 square feet of wetland resources indirectly utilized by various life stages of land and marine species and of submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida, 33176, within 30 days from the date of this notice (i.e. on or before November 19, 2020).
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, Gletys Guardia-Montoya at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at Gletys.Guardia-Montoya@usace.army.mil, or by telephone at 305-526-2515.
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.