Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

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SAJ-2020-04780 (SP-SJR)

U. S. Army Corps of Engineeers
Published May 23, 2023
Expiration date: 6/14/2023

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: Placida Point, LLC & Gasparilla Holdings, LLC
                      c/o Jay Feinberg
                      6380-B East Pacific Coast Hwy
                      Long Beach, CA  90803

 

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Coral Creek and Gasparilla Sound.  The project site is located at various addresses: 13000, 13010, 13020, 13030,13050, 13060, 13070, 13080 & 13090 Fishery Road; 13100 13110 & 13120 Pier Road; and 14001 Gasparilla Road, in Section 12, Township 42 South, Range 20 East, Placida, Charlotte County, Florida. 

Directions to the site are as follows:  Head east on Royal Palm Square Blvd toward Summerlin Rd/County Hwy-869; Turn left onto Summerlin Rd/County Hwy-869; Take the 1st right onto Colonial Blvd/FL-884; Merge right onto US-41 N/FL-45; Continue north through Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda, and into Port Charlotte. Turn left onto Veterans Blvd/FL-776. Continue to follow FL-776; Turn left onto Gasparilla Rd/County Hwy-771; Cross Coral Creek Bridge and turn immediate left onto Fishery Rd; 13000 Fishery Rd, is on the left.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:  
Latitude 26.83238                                                                                                      
Longitude -82.26525

 

PROJECT PURPOSE: Basic:  Commercial and Residential Marina.  Overall:  The project consists of creating a planned community with a commercial/residential marina in Placida, Florida.

PROJECT HISTORY: Between 1905 and 1909, the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railroad laid tracks thru the Cape Haze peninsula and along the western property line of the project, connecting with a newly created railroad bridge to Boca Grande to haul phosphate for loading aboard ships at Boca Grande pass. The Gasparilla Fishery started operations in 1914 on Boca Grande. Walter Gault purchased the business in 1938 and moved the operation to Placida, the subject property in 1944. The Gasparilla Fishery was a commercial fishing operation that included an ice-house, cottages, a restaurant (1988), and mooring for a variety of commercial fishing vessels ranging from shrimp boats to net boats. In 1960 a vertical seawall was constructed around the peninsula. The Army Corps of Engineers issued permit #87IPD-20286 for installation of a commercial dock for the restaurant. There are no other Corps permits or permit modifications.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Fishery, now referred to by the current developer (Placida Point LLC and Gasparilla Holdings, LLC) as “The Village & Marina at Boca Grande”, has been cleared with the exception of two home sites. The docks in the South Basin that moored the larger shrimp boats and deep draft fishing vessels have been impacted by Hurricane Ian and are in disarray. The seawall constructed in 1960 has also been impacted and has failed at a number of locations. The docks in the North Basin in Coral Creek have also deteriorated and are no longer functioning. Charlotte County has recognized 44 existing wet slips, as has the Dept. of Environmental Protection in Submerged Land Lease #081319455.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant proposes the renovation and expansion of the site to emphasize a full range of water access and uses, which includes fixed and floating docks, to service an upland mixed-use commercial development with a restaurant. The applicant’s proposed renovation reorganizes the slip distribution for up to 79 slips.

The project site is broken down into three distinct areas. Detail A (North Basin) is located in Coral Creek along the north side of the property. Detail B (East Peninsula) is a canal directly east of the main property. Detail C (South Basin) is for the south side of the property.

North Basin (Detail A)– This site is characterized by mangroves shorelines, a natural embayment, the presence of the Coral Creek bridge, shallow seagrass areas, and relatively shallow depth. This area was one of the principal, and last, offloading site for the commercial fishing vessels operating out of the existing docks in this basin. The controlling depth to the site is -4’ mean low water (MLW). The shoreline at this site is planned for commercial watersports. At the very north end is a proposed restaurant and bridge club overlooking the Coral Creek waterway. Continuing south along the shoreline will be commercial retail (The Village Plaza) that will include a spa and pool. There are proposed floating and fixed docks that include the following:  

Dock A – From the upland captains walk  an 8' wide x 24' long, 192 square foot (sf.) Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramp extends waterward connecting to an 8’ x 8’ platform (64 sf.), continuing to an 8' wide x 30' long (240 sf.) ADA compliant ramp terminating in the uplands. The total landward area is 496 sf.  The ramp then continued onto an 8' wide x 16' long (128 sf.) fixed wood landing. The landing connects to an 5' wide x 30' long (150 sf.) aluminum ramp that connects to the floating docks. The landing is an 8 ' x 8' (64 sf.) floating dock segment with an 8’ x 8’ triangle (32 sf.) providing access to a 6 ' wide x 216' long (1,296 sf.) floating dock with 7 slips up to 30’ long. This would be mooring for smaller vessels accessing the restaurant. The total dock area is 2,166 sf., with 1,670 sf. being over-water.

Dock B – There are two ADA compliant access ramps off of the proposed upland captains walk that connect to a fixed wood dock. The first ramp begins with a 6’ x 6’ landing connecting to a 6’ wide x 30’ long ramp terminating in the uplands (216 sf.). The access ramp then continues with a 6’ x 6’ landing then continues down another 6’ wide x 12’ ramp (108 sf.) connecting to a fixed wood dock, Dock B. The second ramp further south begins with a 6’ x 6’ landing (36 sf.) along the uplands. It then continues with a 6’ x 30’ long ramp (180 sf.) that connects to a 6’ x 6’ (36 sf.) landing and Dock B, which is 6' wide x 407' long (2,442 sf.) fixed wood dock. Three finger piers, 4’ wide[M3]  x 30’ long (360 sf) contribute to a total mooring for 14 slips up to 25’ long. This dock will serve as mooring for boat rentals and other watercraft to include paddle craft rentals and zero emission electric boats. Total dock area is 3,378 sf., with 3,126 sf. being over water.

Paddle Craft Beach – Extending off of the upland building deck is a series of ADA accessible ramps and landings, 6' wide, that terminate at a paddle craft beach area. It is bound by an upland retaining wall measuring 55’ and 75’ on each side, to hold beach quality sand in place. The existing site is a concrete boat ramp. The concrete would be removed and the beach sand placed above the mean high water line (MHW) to be compatible with paddle craft launching and retrieval. 

East Peninsula (Detail B) – The east peninsula has an artificial canal that connects to the main access channel to Gasparilla Marina and the entrance to Coral Creek. The Concept Plan depicts detached bungalows and various upland improvements in this area. Long term mooring would be provided for the upland residential development.

Dock C – The proposal consists of a fixed wooden dock, 5’ wide x 290’ long (1,450 sf.) marginal to the shoreline. It is accessed on the west side by a 6’ wide x 10’ long (60 sf.) fixed access dock. At the north end a horseshoe shaped mooring area is proposed at 5’ wide x 25’ long (125 sf.) and 4’ wide x 30’ long (120 sf.) to replace the existing finger pier and boat lift. Slips 1 and 2 would be used for water taxi mooring to service the upland residential development, the Lighthouse Building and the four buildings shown on the east land mass. Slips 3 through 6, shown as 25’ long, and Slips 7 through 10, 30’ long would be long term mooring to service the upland condominiums. It should be noted that Slip 10 will be dedicated for law enforcement mooring only to meet the state public interest test. The total dock area is 1,755 sf., with 10 slips.

South Basin (Detail C) – This is the main marina for the site, with deep water access with controlling depths at -8’ MLW, providing mooring for larger vessels at a fixed wooden dock that includes sewage pump out. This basin has historically been used by the commercial fishing fleet for deeper draft vessels like shrimp boats and offshore fishing vessels and is capable of supporting larger recreational vessels. The upland development plan for this site includes a building with three ballroom/conference areas, an open lawn area dedicated for special events like weddings, and support facilities for the inland hotel units. 

Access to Docks E, F and G - There are two access points from the upland, both 8' wide x 30' long (480 sf.) via fixed wood access dock. They connect to the Dock F, which is 8’ wide x 296’ long (2,368 sf.). Six (6) finger piers, 5’ wide x 40’ long (1,200 sf.) extend off this access dock.  Dock F connects to the east with Dock E, which is 8’ wide x 442’ long (3,536 sf.). Dock F also provides access to Dock G to the west, which is 8’ wide x 514’ long (4,112 sf.) The total dock area is 11,696 sf. over water providing a total of 48 slips. On Dock G, Slip #1 is dedicated for sewage pump out. 

The proposed structures for the entire development constitute a total of 18,995 sf. with 18,247 sf. being over water.   A riprap revetment, 20’ wide x 120’ long, is proposed behind Dock F, to stabilize the eroding shoreline and allow for natural recruitment of mangroves once complete. Previous efforts to address the erosion have been unsuccessful, including planting of mangroves and sodding the slope. The area of impact is 2,400 sf. (0.055 ac.) and the volume of fill is 267 cy. Additionally, 8 channel marker pilings are also proposed to be replaced in the access channel.

PilingA total of 528 wood piles would be installed for the support of the docking structures.

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:

Benthic Survey & Seagrass – A preliminary survey of the boat mooring areas and proposed docks indicate that these areas have been impacted from previous mooring and/or are located in deeper areas characterized by silty sediments, organics, and leaf litter from the adjacent mangrove fringe. Permittee has met with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) staff to review the staked alignment and the final plan has been adjusted to avoid any seagrass impacts.

Mangroves - The site was recently cleared of invasive exotic plant species which allowed for the proposed upland access points to exist without impacting mangroves. These locations will be field staked prior to construction. The lateral limbs of  Red Mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) will need to be trimmed along the marginal dock during project construction.

The applicant has agreed to utilize best management practices during all phases of construction to prevent turbidity. Additionally, the applicant has agreed to adhere to the 2011 Standard Manatee Construction Conditions for In-water Work as well as the 2006 Sea Turtle and Smalltooth Sawfish Construction Conditions.  The Contractor will employ best management practices during all phases of construction to prevent the spread of turbidity into the waters of the state. Turbidity control measures will be maintained until all construction is complete. Weighted turbidity curtains will be installed around all stages of construction and will be relocated as the work progresses around the basin. Turbidity curtains will be maintained until all construction is complete and all turbidity has subsided to acceptable levels. All turbidity controls shall be inspected daily, and any repairs made immediately prior to construction continuing. Turbidity levels must not exceed 0 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU’s)[M6] [RSJCUC(7]  above background.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – There are no direct impacts to wetland resources that require mitigation[M8] [RSJCUC(9] .

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), Smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) or its designated critical habitat, Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii). The[M10] [RSJCUC(11]  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.  Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not 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: The proposed activity is 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 been verified by Corps personnel.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES:  Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.

COMMENTS: 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 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 any wetlands.  This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project.

QUESTIONS: 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 Suite 310, Fort Myers, Florida, 33910; by electronic mail at Steven.J.Rabney@usace.army.mil; 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 or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972.  A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

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). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. [0201060]

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.