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: Mr. Scott Hughes
833 Creighton Road
Fleming Island, Florida 32003
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Doctors Lake. The project site is located at 833 Creighton Road, in Section 43, Township 4 North, 26 East, Fleming Island, Clay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate-95 take Exit 337 towards Orange Park, Florida. Proceed on Interstate-295 until Exit 10 and then turn left onto State Highway 17. Proceed south until the intersection of Creighton Road and turn right. Proceed approximately 0.6-mile and the project site located on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.142462°
Basic: The basic project purpose is residential development with access to navigable waters.
Overall: The overall project purpose is single-family residence, with boat and dock access to navigable waters at the applicant’s property.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 2.31-acre property consist of a single-family residence, a storage building, man-made canal, and a single-lane boat ramp. The entire site is uplands except for a 0.24-acre tidally brackish man-made canal, Doctor’s Lake, and the shoreline of the waterbody. The project site is surrounded by other single-family residences to the north, south, and east and a tidally influenced lacustrine system to the west.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean-fill material into 0.092-acre of a tidally lacustrine system to facilitate the construction of a single-family residence. The applicant would construct a 160-foot-long vinyl sheet pile bulkhead abutting an existing stone wall and replace an existing boat ramp. The applicant would dredge approximately 220 cubic yards in the man-made canal to a depth of 5 feet below the mean high-water line. The dredged material would be discharged onto uplands. Furthermore, the applicant would construct a 18-foot-wide by 45-foot-long boat house. In addition, the applicant would construct a partially covered dock with a 5-foot-wide by 277-foot-long access pier and 25-foot-wide by 20-foot-long terminal platform.
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 project has been minimized to fill only that portion of the canal that is necessary to accommodate the residential building codes. Dredge work is limited to the canal area and is proposed to be beneficial to restoring water quality and water flows in the canal system. The bulkhead is replacing existing shoreline stabilization. The dock within Doctors Lake is in-line with other docks in the area and does not create navigational issues within the area.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
“The canal does not support any aquatic vegetation.”
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta), Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus oxyrhynchus), Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and Shortnose Sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination 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 0.092-acre of tidal-lacustrine habitat utilized by various life stages of shrimp and snapper species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the aquatic resource. 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.
SECTION 408: The applicant will not require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, would not alter, occupy, or use a Corps Civil Works project.
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.
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 and Comments concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Mr. Brad Carey; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (904-232-2405) within 21 days of this notice.
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.