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: SC Gulf 3, LLC
c/o Mr. Donn Fuller
14 Baywood Court
Fort Myers, Florida 33919
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States, including wetlands, associated with Pelican Bay. The project site is located at 981 Prescott Street, in Section 13, Township 46 South, Range 23 East, Fort Myers Beach, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows (from the Corps’ Fort Myers Field Office): Turn right onto Summerlin Road (8.8-miles), turn left onto Pine Ridge Road (0.9-miles), turn left onto Florida 865 (1.8-miles), turn right onto Prescott Street (250-feet), and the property will be on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Residential development
Overall: Construct a single-family dwelling and dock, in Fort Myers Beach, Lee County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of a 0.30-acre undeveloped parcel, on the north side of Prescott Street. The project site is located within forested mangrove wetlands along Pelican Bay, which is a tidally influenced saltwater system. The site consists of the following habitats:
Mangrove Swamps with Exotics (FLUCCS Code: 612E): This habitat comprises approximately 0.24-acres of the site. The property is dominated by red mangrove with lesser quantities of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa) and Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius).
Bays and Estuaries (FLUCCS Code: 540): This habitat comprises approximately 0.06-acres of the site. This area of natural open water is within Pelican Bay. Scattered shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) is present along the shoreline which is fringed by red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle).
Also, part of the project area, but offsite of the subject parcel is a saltwater marsh habitat (FLUCCS Code 642) consisting of approximately 0.02-acres of saltwater herbaceous vegetation. This area lies between the Prescott Street and the subject parcel and acts as a drainage ditch for the road. Vegetation in this habitat consists mainly of saltwort (Batis maritima) and glasswort (Salicornia spp.).
The existing area surrounding the project site consists of Prescott Street to the south, Pelican Bay to the north, and forested mangrove wetlands to the east and west. The area of the subject site contains other residential and commercial developments.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill approximately 0.15-acres of forested mangrove wetlands and 0.02-acres of saltwater herbaceous wetland, to construct a single-family dwelling, with driveway, and deck, and construct an “L”-shaped dock with two boatlifts, which will include clearing impacts to 245 square feet of forested mangrove wetlands and overwater impacts to 468 square feet of open waters and seagrass. The dock will extend a total of 160 linear feet, which includes the waterward-most mooring area, from the proposed retaining wall. The dock will be constructed by hand-clearing mangrove trees at a width of 4-feet just above the substrate from land and barge. Approximately 920 cubic yards of fill material will be placed within waters of the United States, including wetlands, to provide the base for the dwelling.
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 proposed fill area is the minimum area practicable for a residence in this location.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: “Mitigation will be provided by wetland mitigation credits from Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank.”
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps 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 preliminarily determined that the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect, the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), American wood stork (Mycteria americana), as well as the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and green (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii), and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtles. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act under separate cover if necessary.
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 0.19-acres (0.17-acres for the dwelling and 0.02-acres for the dock) of EFH utilized by various life stages of fish species for the following species: coastal migratory pelagic, shrimp, red drum, and reef fish. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries. 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: Based on the Florida State Plane coordinates provided by the applicant, the proposed project will not affect the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway or any Federal navigation channel. At this time however, the Corps has not determined the impacts to navigation on any local navigation channels.
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.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida, 33919, or by email at John.N.Policarpo@usace.army.mil, 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, John N. Policarpo, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida, 33919; by electronic mail at John.N.Policarpo@usace.army.mil; or by telephone at (239) 334-1975.
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, aesthetics, 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.
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 South Florida Water Management District.
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.