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:
Mr. Huijun Yang
411 ES, LLC
2753 S.R. 580, Ste 110
Clearwater, Fl. 33761
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Mandalay Channel within Clearwater Harbor. The project site is located at 441 E. Shore Drive 9including the 2 adjacent parcels to the south, Section 08, Township 29 South, Range 15 East, Clearwater, Florida 33767.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the I-275 and I-4 intersection follow I-275 south for 5.1 miles and merge onto SR 60 West for toward Clearwater. Continue on SR 60 West for approximately 19.5 miles. Once over the ICWW bridge turn right onto East Shore Drive for approximately 0.07 miles, project is on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: To construct docking facility associated with planned hotel.
Overall: To remove the existing dock (497 s.f.) associated with all parcels and construct two docking structures consisting of 50 wet slips and 46 with boat lifts. 42 slips are intended for use of hotel guests and 8 slips to be rented to the general public. A total of 584 12-inch wood pilings will be installed by impact hammer.
Previously a Standard Permit was issued on May 27, 2022 for removal of the existing 497-square-foot dock and construct a new 4,996-square-foot dock with 30 boat slips and 51.5 lf of boardwalk. The applicant owned a single parcel with 178 l.f. of water frontage. The applicant purchased additional lands and resubmitted for 20 additional boat slips, 7,452 sf of docking structure consisting of 2 separate docks and an additional 248.5 l.f. of boardwalk along the water frontage.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of an open water system. All parcels have an existing seawall along Mandalay Channel. There is submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV’s) that has been surveyed within the project boundaries. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of commercial properties and multi-slip docking facilities.
The original authorized permit included 1 parcel. The applicant has added the 2 parcels to the south to the proposed project. The waterfront is armored with approximately 300 linear ft of seawall. Prior to 2018 there were 3 docks (total of 1,525 sqft and 14 wet slips) associated with the 3 subject parcels. Two (2) docks remain that are in poor condition that currently moor up to 10 slips.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to remove the existing remaining dock and forty-two 12-inch pilings, expand the previously approved 4,996 s.f. docking structure by adding a second dock structure for a total of 50 boat slips, expand the boardwalk to cover the entire water frontage (300 l.f.), install 46 boat lifts, 7,452 sf of docking structure consisting of 2 separate docks and add an additional 248.5 l.f. of boardwalk for a total of 300 l.f. along the entire water frontage of all 3 parcels. The proposed boardwalk is 15 ft wide for the entire length of the project shoreline. The boardwalk is elevated to be 5 ft above mean sea level – which the maximum height to match the existing seawall height and not have a problem meeting the ADA guidelines for public access. The applicant is installing grated decking over areas where SAV is located. The public boardwalk is required in a marina district
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 measures to reduce potential impacts to resources and ESA species will include the following;
1. Standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work – 2011
2. Installation of permanent manatee educational signage to include; Florida Friendly Boating (2009), Caution Boaters (2009), Entanglement (2010), Caution: Shut Down (2009)
3. Additional protective measures to submerged aquatic vegetation include;
• The facility design to move docks and wet slips out to deeper water past the SAV beds
• The public boardwalk is elevated to 5.1 ft. above the mean high water line (mhwl) and will include grated decking over any surveyed SAV to allow light transmittance
• There is no mooring at the public boardwalk, handrails will be included the entire length
• There will be handrails and “No Mooring” signs on portion of the north dock to prohibit mooring in areas not designated for slips
• There are no mooring spaces or wet slips over SAV
4. The project will include the Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions
5. The project will include the Protected Species Construction Conditions
6. Monofilament recycling bins will be installed on the docks
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required: Based on the above information, compensatory mitigation should not be required for the proposed project.
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 proposal may affect the West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Potential impacts to the endangered manatee were evaluated using the Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida (Key), dated April 2013. Use of the Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A>B>C>G>H>I>J>L>M =“May Affect”. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service/National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
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 based on project design to avoid existing seagrass beds, elevate the deck 5.1 feet, include ½” spacing and move the structures out to deeper waters. 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 structures are not located in the vicinity of a federal navigation 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 however the three parcels are sea walled and subject to the ebb and flow of the tide.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida, 33610 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, if proposed.
QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Peter Romano, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida, 33610; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org by facsimile transmission at (813)769-7060; or, by telephone at (813)769-7072.
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.
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.