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:
2128 El Jobean Road
Port Charlotte, Florida 33948
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States, including wetlands, associated with the West Spring Waterway in Port Charlotte, Florida. The project site is located at 20177 Edgewater Drive, Port Charlotte, Florida 33952, and is situated along the West Spring Waterway, within Section 28, Township 40 South, Range 22 East, Port Charlotte, Charlotte County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Exit I-75 at Harbor View Road (exit 167). Continue on Harborview (becomes Edgewater) to project site.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Single-family home and boat access.
Overall: To construct a single-family home and dock, in Port Charlotte, Charlotte County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site consists of 0.26 acres of uplands and 0.07 acres of wetlands. The wetland system is a saltwater system dominated by white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa), black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), and salt bush (Baccharis halimifolia) for the proposed fill area and Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) for the dock walkway. The uplands are a mowed area dominated by turf grasses. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of the West Spring Lake Waterway to the west, Edgewater Drive to the North, the Lea Marie Island development to the east, and mangrove habitat within Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park to the south.
This site was included in a mitigation area to offset the wetland impacts for the adjacent development, under USACE Permit Number SAJ-1996-02430 (IP-AM). This parcel was part of Enhancement Area J in the previous permit. Per Special Condition 8, “the permittee agrees to enhance 5.11 acres of wetlands in Wetlands J (2 acres) and K (3.11 acres) by removing exotic vegetation to allow for natural revegetation”. No earthmoving or hydrologic changes were proposed on the current Lombardo property as part of the previous permit. There are no conservation easements recorded over the property.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 0.07 acres (3,032 square feet) of forested saltwater wetlands to construct a single-family home and construct a 208 square foot elevated 4-foot-wide walkway through the mangroves and a 156 square foot boat dock in the canal on the west side of the property.
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: This site plan has been adjusted to remove a pool, reduce the overall size of the home, and reduce the wetland impacts. Silt fencing and turbidity curtains are being used to reduce any impacts during construction and treatment swale will reduce any secondary impacts from run-off from the structure. The applicant has also proposed to utilize retaining walls to reduce additional grading impacts.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The applicant is proposing to purchase 0.05 forested saltwater credits at the Little Pine Island Mitigation Bank (LPIMB). Using the LPIMB assessment methodology, 0.04 credits would be required to offset the proposed impacts. Given the past permit history of this site and the previous use of these wetlands for mitigation, the permittee proposes an additional 25% on top of the calculated credits.
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 determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus), Wood stork (Mycteria americana), Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata). 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 0.08 acres of mangrove habitat utilized by various life stages of marine organisms. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. 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 project plans provided by the applicant, the waterward edge of the proposed structure is less than 25% of the width of the West Spring Waterway.
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.
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, Fort Myers, Florida 33919 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, Steven Rabney, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida 33919; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (239)334-1975 x0009.
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.
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 and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.
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.