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.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

SAJ-2024-00141 (SP-JPF)

U. S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published June 14, 2024
Expiration date: 7/15/2024

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:   TLC Reedy Isle, LLC
c/o Mr. Tony Iorio
605 Commonwealth Avenue
Orlando, FL 32803
 

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Horse Creek, Snell Creek, and other tributaries to the Kissimmee River (HUC8 03090101).  The project site is located north and south of Horseshoe Creek Road and east of Power Line Road, in Sections 1, 2, 11 and 12, Township 27 South, Range 27 East, Davenport, Polk County.

Directions to the site are as follows:  From the Tampa Regulatory office, take I-75 north to I-4; take I-4 east to County/State Road 557; take CR/SR 557 south to Old Polk City/Haines City Road; take Old Polk City east to US 27; take 27 north to Bates Road; take Bates east to US-92/Hwy 17; take 92/17 north to South Blvd. W; take South east  to Miami Avenue; take Miami north to Palmetto Street; take Palmetto east and continue to Horseshoe Creek Road and project site.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:  
Latitude     28.158978
Longitude -81.570785

 

PROJECT PURPOSE: Basic:  Residential development

Overall:  To develop a single-family and townhome residential development and associated infrastructure in the City of Davenport, Polk County, near Highway 17 and U.S. Highway 27.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The project site covers a total of 489.99 acres, including 106.95 acres of wetlands. The applicant provided the following description of the overall site: “The property consists of predominately improved pasture that is actively grazed by cattle. There are multiple wetland habitats scattered throughout the project site. Portions of Horse Creek and Snell Creek as well as other naturally occurring wetlands are found within the project site. There are several occupied home sites and structures present throughout the project site. Some native upland habitat is present on the northeast portion of the property. The eastern property boundary consists of a powerline easement. Reedy Creek Swamp is immediately east of the project site.”  Aquatic resources on site include the two creek systems, two cattle ponds, a bay swamp, and scattered marshes, for a total of 22 wetlands and surface waters.

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to impact a total of 8.05 acres of wetlands  and surface waters (6.25 acres of forested wetlands, 1.05 acres herbaceous, 0.75 acre surface waters) at 15 different locations to construct four phases of a residential development.  

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 applicant  states that they considered two offsite alternatives, both of which would have a greater level of wetland impacts than the proposed project. Onsite, the applicant states that they have redesigned the project several times and eliminated 19.26 acres of previously proposed impacts.  The Corps has not finalized its review of the avoidance and minimization for this project.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:  The applicant states that the project will result in direct and secondary losses of 4.85 palustrine/freshwater forested functional units and 1.44 palustrine/freshwater herbaceous functional units. The applicant proposes to purchase 4.85 federal forested mitigation bank credits from the Southport Mitigation Bank (SAJ-2009-01047) as compensatory mitigation for those functional losses. The applicant proposes to purchase 1.44 federal freshwater herbaceous credits from the Twin Oaks Mitigation Bank to offset the herbaceous wetland functional losses, however the Corps notes that the bank is not federally approved.

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 project area is within the consultation area for the Florida bonneted bat (FBB) and within the core foraging areas of wood stork nesting colonies, and contains suitable habitat for the Audubon’s crested caracara (caracara), eastern indigo snake (EIS), Everglade snail kite, Florida scrub jay, sand and blue-tailed mole skinks (skinks), tricolored bat, and various plant species (detailed below).

FBB/Tricolored bat: The applicant states that the project area includes potential roosting habitat for the FBB, including large trees and artificial structures. They also state that they did not observe any FBBs onsite, however they did not provide a description of the survey methodology or any details of the results. The Corps will request that the applicant conduct a full acoustic/roost survey in accordance with the October 2019 FBB effect determination key. After receipt of the survey results, the Corps will make an effect determination and consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as necessary. The Corps will also recommend that the applicant include the tricolored bat in any surveys.

Wood stork: The project will impact a minimum of 1.8 acres of suitable foraging habitat (SFH) for the wood stork. The application did not provide a satisfactory plan to compensate for the lost SFH. The Corps will request that the applicant provide a plan, including a foraging analysis of the impacted area and the compensation areas. After receipt of that plan, the Corps will make an effect determination using the May 2010 South Florida effect determination key for the wood stork and consult with the USFWS as necessary.

Caracara: The applicant states that improved pasture, including scattered cabbage palms, is the predominant habitat site within the project area, however they did not provide any survey information for the caracara. The Corps will request that the applicant conduct a survey for caracaras, including for roosting sites, in accordance with applicable USFWS protocol. After receipt of the survey results, the Corps will make an effect determination and consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as necessary.

EIS: The 489.99-acre project area predominantly consists of a mixture of habitat types, including upland habitats such as citrus groves, xeric scrub, and pine and hardwood forests, that the EIS will use. In addition, the applicant states that an initial, “cursory” survey found 41 gopher tortoise burrows within the project area. The applicant states that they will follow the Standard Protection Measures during site preparation and construction. Use of the August 2017 EIS effect determination key for south Florida provided a result of ‘may affect’ (A-B-C). The Corps will include a request for initiation of formal consultation from the USFWS for the EIS as part of the overall consultation package for this project.

Everglade snail kite: The applicant did not provide any information about the adequacy of the onsite habitat for snail kite foraging or nesting, or any information about the presence or absence of snail kites. The Corps will request that the applicant evaluate the habitat and if suitable habitat is present, conduct a survey for snail kites in accordance with the USFWS snail kite survey protocol. After receipt of the habitat evaluation and any survey results, the Corps will make an effect determination and consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as necessary.

Florida scrub jay: The project area contains habitat for scrub jays. The applicant states that they performed surveys and did not observe any scrub jays. However, the applicant did not provide a report detailing the types of habitat surveyed, the locations of those habitats, and the survey methodology. The Corps will request that the applicant conduct a survey for scrub jays in accordance with applicable USFWS protocol. After receipt of the survey results, the Corps will make an effect determination and consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as necessary.

Skinks: The project area contains habitat for skinks. The applicant did not provide any information about surveys performed, including the types of habitat surveyed, the locations of those habitats, and the survey methodology. The Corps will request that the applicant conduct a survey for skinks in accordance with applicable USFWS protocol. After receipt of the survey results, the Corps will make an effect determination and consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as necessary.

Plant species: The Corps utilized its Regulatory Screening Tool (RST) to generate a list of ESA-listed species potentially within the project area. The RST list included the following plant species: Avon Park harebells (Crotalaria avonensis), Britton's beargrass (Nolina brittoniana), Carter's mustard (Warea carteri), Florida bonamia (Bonamia grandiflora), Florida ziziphus (Ziziphus celata), Highlands scrub hypericum (Hypericum cumulicola), Lewton's polygala (Polygala lewtonii), Papery whitlow-wort (Paronychia chartacea), Pigeon wings (Clitoria fragrans), Pygmy fringe-tree (Chionanthus pygmaeus), Sandlace (Polygonella myriophylla), Scrub blazingstar (Liatris ohlingerae), Scrub buckwheat (Eriogonum longifolium var. gnaphalifolium), Scrub mint (Dicerandra frutescens), Scrub plum (Prunus geniculata), Short-leaved rosemary (Conradina brevifolia), Wide-leaf warea (Warea amplexifolia), and Wireweed (Polygonella basiramia). The applicant did not provide any information about surveys performed for these species. The Corps will request that the applicant conduct a survey for these species. After receipt of the survey results, the Corps will make an effect determination and consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as necessary.

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. There are no EFH resources present on the project site. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have any 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 portion of Snell Creek within the project area is shown as being part of the Central and Southern Florida Project. The Corps will review the proposed activities further and determine if they require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, may 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 Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33610 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 Fellows, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33610; by electronic mail at john.p.fellows@usace.army.mil; or by telephone at (813) 538-3932. 

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 Southwest Florida Water Management District.

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.