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) as described below:
APPLICANT: Andrew Belford
961 A1A, LLC
961 N. Highway A1A
Jupiter, FL 33477
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project site is located in Waters of the United States, in the Loxahatchee River, adjacent to 961 N. Highway A1A (Section 31, Township 40 South, Range 43 East), Jupiter, Palm Beach County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Traveling from Interstate 95, take Exit 87A for Indiantown Road (east). Travel 4 miles east on Indiantown Road and turn left onto U.S. Highway 1. Travel approximately 0.8 miles and turn right onto Florida A1A/ Ocean Boulevard. In 0.3 miles turn left onto Anchor Way; make a right onto Schooner Drive and left onto Driftwood Heights. Destination will be on the left.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 26.94446°
Basic: Water Access
Overall: To provide water access at an existing parcel within Jupiter, Palm Beach County Florida.
PROJECT HISTORY: The original two-story boathouse was constructed in 1906 and later damaged by hurricanes during the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons. Due to funding delays the damaged structure was not repaired. Aerial imagery indicates that the entire structure was removed by 2017, with a chain link fence existing around the perimeter to prevent trespassing. The Corps issued a Letter of Permissions dated March 11, 2014, to reconstruct the boathouse in its existing location. This permit was later modified on April 28, 2016, to allow for in-water construction and updated the special conditions. The Corps issued a second authorization dated August 22, 2014, for a Regional General Permit SAJ-34 to construct a 5-foot by 47-foot marginal dock on the north side of the existing boathouse; a 5-foot by 51-foot marginal dock on the east side of the existing boathouse; and to construct second floor balconies on the north and east sides of the boathouse above the marginal docks.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a saltwater system and is located immediately adjacent to Johnson’s seagrass critical habitat. A benthic survey was completed on July 13, 2013, which documented Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) and shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) starting within 32 feet from the edge of the previously existing boathouse footprint. The associated upland property was previously multi-family residential, however in 2017, the upland mobile homes were all removed, and the parcel is currently vacant. The areas surrounding the project area consists of commercial development including restaurants, stores and other multi-family residential development.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to reconstruct a two-story, 52-foot by 47-foot boathouse in the exact location as previously existing. The first story would accommodate the mooring of three vessels and the second story, would accommodate a recreation room and offices.
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 applicant has proposed to use erosion control devices such as turbidity barrier to contain all sediments within the limit of construction.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
According to the July 2013 seagrass survey the proposed boathouse reconstruction will not impact any benthic resources and therefore no compensatory mitigation should be required.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of recorded historic resources within or adjacent to the permit area and is evaluating the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This public notice serves to inform the public of the proposed undertaking and invites comments including those from local, State, and Federal government Agencies with respect to historic resources. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts may be subject to additional coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and other interested parties.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and its designated critical habitat; Johnson’s seagrass and its designated critical habitat; swimming sea turtles: (green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)); smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata); North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis); Giant Manta Ray (Mobula birostris); Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi); and wood stork (Mycteria americana). 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 by separate letter.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.
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 0.39 acres of sandy substrate utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp complex, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, migratory/pelagic fish, and snapper/grouper complex. 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.
NAVIGATION: The proposed work is not located within the setback of a federal project. Furthermore, it will have no effect on the navigability of the adjacent 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 not been verified by Corps personnel.
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 Garden 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, Jerilyn Ashworth, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410; by electronic mail at Jerilyn.Ashworth@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (561)472-3516.
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.
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.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: This public notice serves as the notification to the EPA pursuant to section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act. Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
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.