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: Kathlena Smith
653 West 23rd Street, PMB #119
Panama City, Florida 32405
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with East Bay and Richard Bayou. The project site is located at 4803 East Bay Drive in Section 7, Township 5 South, Range 12 West, Panama City, Bay County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Panama City, east on East 15th Street / US Highway (HWY) 98 to Tyndall Parkway, then left onto Hwy 22 for approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right onto Star Avenue, left onto Old Bicycle Road and continue for approximately 3.5 miles. Turn right onto Hwy 2297 and continue for approximately 6.7 miles south on Hwy 2297. Turn left onto Piercy Road, then right onto East Bay Drive and the project area is located on the right hand side of East Bay Drive - 4803 East Bay Drive.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.059557°
Basic: Residential Development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to develop a single-family residential property by constructing a driveway, residence and restoring an existing dock structure adjacent to Richard Bayou in southeast Bay County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland systems consist of freshwater and saltwater systems. The applicant identifies on site wetlands as wet prairie and flatwood adjacent to saltwater marsh wetlands associated with Richard Bayou. Aerial images of the area indicates the wetland areas have sparce vegetation coverage, possibly due to disturbance. It appears tree and shrub stratum are less than 10% coverage except for shrub coverage at 100% along the Mean High Water Line (MHWL) of the adjacent saltwater marsh wetlands. The herb stratum appears the densest with approximately 80% coverage. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of low density, fixed single family units along the shoreline of the embayment and saltwater marshes opening directly into the Gulf of Mexico.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to impact waters of the United States in association with direct impacts to 0.475 acres and secondary impacts to 0.698 acres of waters of the United States (wetlands) to construct a driveway, single-family residence and repair and re-construct an existing dock consisting of a 4’ x 50’ access dock and 4’ x 20’ terminal platform, for a total 280 Square Feet (SF) dock.
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 is proposing to impact 21% of the wetlands on the property needed for a single-family residence and associated driveway for ingress/egress to the proposed residence. The proposed driveway has been placed on the edge of the property to reduce fragmentation of the remaining 1.737 acres of onsite wetlands. Silt fence would be installed along the perimeter of the proposed fill area to prevent unauthorized discharge from project area. The applicant would comply with the Marsh section of the “Construction Guidelines in Florida for Minor Piling-Supported Structures Constructed in or over Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV), Marsh or Mangrove Habitat”, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/National Marine Fisheries Service – November 2017.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
To offset the direct and secondary impacts associated with the project, the applicant is proposing to mitigate the assessed functional loss of 0.475 acres of direct fill impacts and 0.698 acres of secondary impacts via the purchase of 0.36 palustrine credits from the Horseshoe Creek Mitigation Bank (SAJ-2014-01308).
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 West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Gulf Sturgeon, (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) and Sea turtle spp. The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis), Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), and Red Knot (Calidris canutus rufa).
The Corps will consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service with the determinations for the Gulf Sturgeon and Sea turtle spp. 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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in Richard Bayou. 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 waterward edge of the proposed structure is approximately 4,066 feet away from the near bottom edge of 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 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 Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Boulevard (Blvd), Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 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, Randy Turner, in writing at Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Blvd, Suite 411 Panama City, Florida 32407; by electronic mail at Randy.L.Turner@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (850) 763-0717 extension 3.
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: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) or Northwest Florida Water Management District (NWFWMD).
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 h