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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Jacksonville District
Published May 17, 2024
Expiration date: 6/14/2024

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) as described below:


APPLICANT:  Lennar Homes

                       6675 Westwood Blvd.

                        Orlando, FL 32821


WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with East Lake Tohopekaliga (HUC 030901010104).  The project site is located in Section 04, Township 25 South, Range 31 East, St. Cloud, Osceola County, Florida.


Directions to the site are as follows:  From SR 417, exit at Narcoossee Road, head south for approximately 4.8 miles. Turn left on Cyrils Drive. Continue for approximately 0.93 mile and turn left into the Bridgewalk Subdivision, on Addison Blvd. Follow this road all the way north. The Project Site is located north of this subdivision.


APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:         Latitude      28.345757° North

                                                                                 Longitude -81.216535° West




Basic:  Residential Subdivision


Overall:  Construction of a new residential subdivision with associated roads, stormwater management, and amenities within close proximity to major roadways, schools, and employment opportunities, in the greater St. Cloud area.


EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The 83.47 acre Springhead Lake project is located within Section 04, Township 25 South, Range 31 East, in Osceola County. The Site is bordered to the south by the Bridgewalk residential community, to the north by open agricultural land, to the west by Lake Ajay, and to the east by Split Oak Forest. The onsite wetland system consists of a freshwater herbaceous system.  The wetland consists of pasture wetlands that are dominated by carpet grass (Axonopus spp.) and bahia grass (Paspalum notatum).  There are several onsite manmade ditches as well. The Project Site consists predominately of improved pasture and is adjacent to the Bridgewalk residential community and Lake Ajay.


PROPOSED WORK:  The Applicant seeks authorization to fill 38.55± acres of wetlands and 4.61± acres of surface waters for the development of a single-family residential subdivision.


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 overall Southern Oaks subdivision, SAJ-2013-02767(SP-TDS), issued September 30, 2015, authorized 73.73 acres of wetland impacts across all phases of construction, including Springhead Lake. Since the original authorization, the Central Florida Expressway (CFX) has acquired 24.50 acres of the applicant’s property through eminent domain to facilitate a roadway extension project, reducing the property from 107.97 acres to 83.47 acres. This land forfeiture accounted for a loss of 12 acres of developable uplands to the permittee and the proposed development plan has undergone several design modifications in order to maintain a financially viable project, with less developable acreage. Due to the extent and central location of the onsite wetlands, there was no practical way to design a site plan to avoid wetland impacts.


The wetlands proposed for impact are pasture wetlands areas which are highly degraded by ditching, the invasion of bahia grass and carpet grass, and the historic and current use for cattle grazing. The ecological value of the wetlands proposed for impact are very low. The proposed site plan will result in 38.55± acres of direct wetland impacts and 4.61± acres of direct surface water impacts.


The proposed site plan clusters development in the southern portion of the site, adjacent to the existing Bridgewalk subdivision and eliminates impacts to the higher quality wetlands that are contiguous with Lake Ajay in the west.


The challenges in developing a feasible site design included site access continuity with the Bridgewalk subdivision, floodplain considerations, required fill to meet necessary finished floor elevations for lot grading, and access to developable upland areas. 


Access to the Springhead Lake Project Site is pre-determined based on the existing roadway network from the adjacent Bridgewalk subdivision. Existing access points lie along the southern boundary where the Project Site abuts Bridgewalk. Because the wetlands are so extensive and extend almost the entirety of the southern property line, there is no way to provide reasonable access without wetland impacts. 




The site design also had to consider pond placement and sizing for flood compensation.  The ponds have been placed along the northern and western project limits, clustering development within the central portion of the site. These ponds will serve as a buffer to, and separation from the preserved wetlands and Lake Ajay to the west from the proposed residential development.  The ponds will also serve as a wildlife corridor around the outer limits of development.


Lastly, the amount of fill required to elevate the site to meet design standards would result in any remaining wetlands within the body of the project site being topographically lower in the landscape, further isolating them and reducing their function and landscape connectivity in the post-development condition.  A site plan that creates fragmented, isolated and remnant portions of low-quality wetlands is not the most ecologically feasible development plan.   


The proposed site plan has eliminated any impacts to wetlands which extend offsite and are hydrologically connected to Lake Ajay, while maintaining the minimum number of homes to create a financially viable project. 


Given the location and extent of wetlands onsite, the proposed site plan makes the best use of onsite uplands while avoiding the higher quality, contiguous wetland system. The most ecologically sound solution is to provide mitigation for complete impact low quality wetlands which would otherwise be surrounded by development.”


COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:


“Compensatory mitigation for the 38.55± acres of direct wetland impacts and 4.61± acres of direct surface water impacts are proposed via the purchase of 10.9 credits from the Crosby Island Mitigation Bank.”




The Corps has evaluated the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and has followed the guidelines of 33 CFR Part 325, Appendix C.  A Cultural Resource Assessment Survey was completed over the Area of Potential Effect (APE) and determined the proposed project will have no effect on cultural resources listed, or eligible for listing in the NRHP, or otherwise of archaeological, historical, or architectural significance. The Division of Historical Resources provided concurrence with the determination, DHR Project File No.: 2014-38, on September 2, 2014.  Based on this review and concurrence, the Corps has determined that the project would have No Potential to Cause Effects to Historic Properties.






A Biological Opinion (BO) was issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) on September 9, 2015 for the Southern Oaks Subdivision (Service CPA Code: 04EF2000-2014-CPA-0178, Service Consultation Code: 04EF2000-2015-F-0307). The Southern Oaks Subdivision was a proposed 413± acre residential development, to be developed in phases. The BO was part of the permit issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“ACOE”; Permit No. SAJ-2013-02767) and covered the entire 413± acre Southern Oaks Subdivision.  Since the time of ACOE permit issuance, the original permittee, Standard Pacific of Florida, was acquired by Lennar Homes. The project has been redesigned, and consists of three distinct project areas: Bridgewalk, Springhead Lake, and Springhead Lake North.


The BO issued by the USFWS considered the entire 413± acre Southern Oaks project area to be suitable habitat for the eastern indigo snake. No eastern indigo snakes were observed on within the project area; however, the Applicant committed to implementing the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake and contributed $10,000 to the Service’s Eastern Indigo Snake Conservation Fund. The BO confirms funds were received on March 23, 2015. The Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake will continue to be implemented during development of Springhead Lake and the voluntary $10,000 contribution to the Service’s Eastern Indigo Snake Conservation Fund has been completed. As stated in the original BO, the Service “determined this level of anticipated take is not likely to result in jeopardy to listed species or the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat for the eastern indigo snake.”


The BO determined that the wood stork would not likely be adversely affected by the proposed development.  The applicant proposes to comply with terms of the September 9, 2015, BO.


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.


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, FL 32926, within 30 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, John Baehre, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926; by electronic mail at; or by telephone at 321-504-3771, extension 0013. 


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.  


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 South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The project is being reviewed under application no. 230912-40328.


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 requ