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:
1419 NE Oak Bluff Lane
Stuart, Florida 34996
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Indian River. The project site is located on the west side of SE Macarthur Boulevard in Section 5, Township 38 South, Range 42 East, Stuart, Martin County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95 S in Martin County take exit 110 east on FL-714. Turn left on SW Martin Downs Boulevard approximately 4 miles then turn right onto Florida A1A for approximately 3 miles. Turn right onto NE Macarthur Boulevard and travel south approximately 2.2 miles, the project site will be on the west side of the road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 27.18965°
Basic: Residential development
Overall: Development of one single-family residence on the barrier island of Martin County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The subject property evaluated as part of this submittal consists of one tax parcel (Parcel ID # 05-38-42- 001-000-00530-9) comprised of 0.8570 acres. The property is classified by the Martin County Property Appraiser with a Land Use Designation of 0000 - Vacant Residential. The parcel is located just north of SE South Marina Way and SE Sailfish Point Boulevard, in Stuart, Martin County, Florida. The wetland system consists of a 0.49 acre saltwater mangrove system.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a single-family home and associated residential improvements. The associated residential improvements include the construction of a retaining wall, pervious driveway, stairs, walkway and a stormwater management system that will be constructed to satisfy the water quality and quantity requirements via swales/detention areas prior to discharges to the Indian River Lagoon. The work will result in 0.43 acre of direct fill impacts to tidally influenced saltwater mangrove wetlands.
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:
“After obtaining a Wetland Delineation from State reviewers, wetland impacts for the proposed project are truly unavoidable. This lot was platted prior to April 1, 1982 – granting it the status of a “Lot of Record” in Martin County. Often times, these sites were platted without concern to natural habitat. Over 50% of this site is considered to be wetlands.
When also considering the required front and side setbacks, as well as the Shoreline Protection Zone (SPZ), there are no other places to place the structure. This site was considered as it was one of the last remaining lots for sale in this area. Alternative site plans were designed and discussed with reviewers.
In addition, the applicant is limited to a 3000-sf footprint by Martin County Code, with the addition of an access driveway. The driveway location was altered to be least impactful. Drainage calculations were conducted as to provide reasonable assurance that the proposed works would not inhibit the natural movement of water or causing adverse flooding on adjacent properties.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“To offset unavoidable adverse impacts to 0.43 acres of wetlands, the permittee has elected to purchase 0.21 estuarine mangrove mitigation credits from Bear Point Mitigation Bank. Approximately 0.06 acres of wetlands shall remain on the site.”
The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). The project site is within the 13-mile United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) North Florida core foraging area for a Wood Stork nesting colony. The Corps evaluated potential effects to Wood Stork using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008. Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination A > B > C > not likely to adversely affect, as the project would affect less than 0.5 acres of suitable foraging habitat. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) previously indicated that they concur with determinations of not likely to adversely affect based on that key; and, that no additional consultation is required.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). The Corps utilized the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key January 25, 2010, addendum August 13, 2013, which resulted in the sequence A > B > C > not likely to adversely affect as there are no gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped or injured during project activities. The USFWS previously indicated that they concur with determinations of not likely to adversely affect based on that key; and, that no additional consultation is required.
On 22 June 2023, the Corps executed a RAR report from the National Regulatory Viewer. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any federally listed threatened or endangered species, other than those mentioned above. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any federally listed, threatened, or endangered species, other than those mentioned above.
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 0.43 acres of saltwater mangrove wetlands. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Indian River Lagoon. 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 not 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 regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926 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, Brandon J. Conroy, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or, by telephone at (321) 504-3771 x0011.
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 is required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The project has been approved under FDEP permit no. 43-0420250-001-EI.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. The project has been found consistent with Florida’s Coastal Zone Management Program, as required by Section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act, under FDEP permit no. 43-0420250-001-EI.
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.