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. Arthur Fratesi
14501 Aqua Vista Court
Jacksonville, Florida 32224
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Pablo Creek. The project site is located at 14501 Aqua Vista Court, in Section 31, Township 2 South, Range 29 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.292821°
Basic: The basic project purpose is residential construction.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the relocation of a seawall to establish a pool/patio and garage associated with a single-family residence.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: Prior to construction of the canal, historical maps indicate the project site encompassed a palustrine forested wetland system. Presently, the project site encompasses several communities identified by the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS) developed by the Florida Department of Transportation.
Uplands – 0.31 acre residential, medium density (FLUCFCS code 120)
This area includes a single-family residential home with its associated infrastructure. The dominant vegetation in the area is St. Augustine grass and ornamental vegetation, and a few large live oaks (Quercus virginiana) are present in the southeast corner of the property.
Wetlands and Surface Waters – 0.35 acre streams and waterways (FLUCFCS code 510)
The onsite aquatic resource is comprised of a man-made tidal canal constructed to serve the residential neighborhood with open water connection access to the Intracoastal Waterway. Vegetation is limited to saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) along the edge of the canal at the northern end of the property. The benthic habitat is comprised of soft mud and is largely denuded, except for a few small clusters of oysters (Crassostrea virginica) within a narrow intertidal band along the edge of the canal.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge 695 cubic yards of backfill material over 0.07 acre of waters of the United States to facilitate the re-location of a seawall to establish an additional buildable area to accommodate the construction of a pool, a pool deck, an enclosed patio area, and an oversize garage for the storage of a recreational vehicle and boat trailer.
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:
Avoidance and minimization have been accomplished by locating the proposed structures in such a way as to utilize the existing uplands to the greatest extent practicable and through incorporation design elements which permit the incorporation of minimal setback distances between the proposed engineered structures and the proposed relocation of the seawall.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
Compensatory mitigation would be accomplished through the purchase of 0.03 palustrine credit from St. Marks Pond Mitigation Bank (SAJ-2004-11257).
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 Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), or the Manatee (Trichechus manatus), and their respective designated critical habitat. 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.
The Corps will evaluate the proposed work utilizing the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Jacksonville District’s Programmatic Biological Opinion (JAXBO) dated 20 November 2017, “Superseding Process for Review and Inclusion of Substantially Similar Projects or Projects with Substantially Similar Effects”. The Superseding Process can be used for projects that may propose to use materials or installation methods that were not specifically considered in JaxBO, or the project may deviate from the PDC’s in a minor fashion. The JAXBO analyzes the effects from 10 categories of minor in-water activities occurring in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean on sea turtles (loggerhead, leatherback, Kemp's ridley, hawksbill, and green), smalltooth sawfish, Nassau grouper, scalloped hammerhead shark, Johnson's seagrass, sturgeon (Gulf, shortnose, and Atlantic), corals (elkhorn, staghorn, boulder star, mountainous star, lobed star, rough cactus, and pillar), whales (North Atlantic right whale, sei, blue, fin, and sperm), and designated critical habitat for Johnson's seagrass, smalltooth sawfish, sturgeon (Gulf and Atlantic), sea turtles (green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead), North Atlantic right whale, and elkhorn and staghorn corals in accordance with Section 7 of the ESA. Based on past permitting practices of the Corps and review of consultations with similar in-water construction activities, Project Design Criteria (PDCs) were identified in the JAXBO that typically have been applied to permitted in-water construction activities. These PDCs ensure effects of in-water construction activities are minimal in nature and do not result in adverse effects to listed species or to essential features of designated critical habitat. For this verification, the Corps will conduct a project specific review to ensure that all the PDCs are met.
The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have an adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries in Pablo Creek. 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.
NAVIGATION: The project site is not within or near the Intracoastal Waterway Federal channel.
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 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019 within 21 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, Renee Riker, 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)232-1904; or, by telephone at (904)232-1497.
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.
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.