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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND GROWTH MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENTENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING AND COMMUNITY RESILIENCE DIVISION115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 329H Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 954-519-1270 FAX 954-519-1496June 2, 2020Subject: River Oaks Wetland InquiryDear Mr. Brownscombe,I am writing in response to your inquiries and communications dated May 19, 21, and 22 regarding theRiver Oaks property and stormwater project. You had generally inquired regarding the County’sparticipation or review of this project.I will share that while not a direct partner in the immediate stormwater wetland project, the County didprovide support for vegetative improvements relating the 2-acre upland portion of the site under a 2012Partners in Preservation grant application submitted by the City. This application provided for exoticremoval and vegetative enhancements with the understanding that wetland stormwater project would beaddressed by the City at a later time.Regarding the current project, agency staff have visited the site and determined that early investments arestill intact. Staff understands that the appropriate wetland permitting was undertaken with the U.S. ArmyCorps of Engineers and that county licensing requirements were also addressed. The County’s licensinghas related to a control structure for water levels and drainage improvements for the River OaksNeighborhood. In total, the City’s total investments in the site are anticipated to provide overallenhancement to the quality of the wetland with substantial restoration of native habitat.In response to your inquiries regarding protections for this and other Protection Natural Lands sites, pleasenot that there is a great deal of diversity referenced in the ownership, management, and quality of thesedesignated sites and requirements for any projects might vary widely as a result. There are no formalmanagement requirements for sites included in this map series.To your specific questions:Item 1.- I am interested in obtaining a copy or link to the conservation agreement (easement?) that protectsthis site. If there are other natural land protections afforded this site, I would appreciate knowing what theyare.A Surface Water Management (SWM) License/Environmental Resource Permit(ERL)/Environmental Resource License (ERL) was issued on December 18, 2015 (see attachedSWM No. SWM2015-091-0/ERP No. 06-07241-P/ ERL No. DF03-1113). The license scope wasfor wetland creation/enhancement. As part of the site ERL, A conservation easement was notrequired, however, the mitigation condition (C)(2) of the ERL describes that long-termBroward County Board of County CommissionersMark Bogen Lamar P. Fisher Beam Furr Steve Geller Dale V.C. Holness Nan H. Rich Tim Ryan Barbara Sharief Michael Udinewww.broward.org

management shall be the responsibility of the City of Fort Lauderdale. Minor modification to thedesign of the wetland creation/enhancement were approved on November 30, 2018 (see attachedERL No. DF03-1113 Modification). The notice of construction commencement for the andwetland creation/enhancement project was received on March 24, 2020 (attached). EnvironmentalEngineering and Permitting Division (EEPD) staff visited the site on May 28, 2020, andconstruction appears to be proceeding in accordance to the ERL.Item 2a.- I am interested in approvals or guidance the County provided to the City of Fort Lauderdale thatwould impinge historical plant and wildlife species living on or using the site (such as migratory species)or any rare habitat on that site.County Code of Ordinances (Code) Section 27-337. - Criteria for issuance or denial of anenvironmental resource license (ERL).(a) Application Requirements: A license shall be granted only after the applicant providesEPGMD with reasonable assurances that the license is not contrary to the public interest.In determining whether a project is not contrary to the public interest, EPGMD shallconsider and balance the following criteria:All Projects:(1)Whether the activity will adversely affect the public health, safety, or welfareor the property of others.(2)Whether the activity will adversely affect the conservation of fish and wildlife,including endangered or threatened species, or their habitats.At the time the application for ERL No. DF13-113 was submitted in 2013, the proposed wetlandcreation/enhancement project was determined it would not adversely affect the conservation of fishand wildlife, including endangered or threatened species, or their habitats.Item 2b.- Does the County require an inventory of native plant and wildlife species, and if not, how wouldprotection of rare, Threatened, and Endangered species and rare habitats be possible?See reference to County Code Section 27-337 in Item 2a above. This section applies for all ERLapplications as well as wetland determination applications. If there is reason to believe that one ofthese species is present during an inspection within an area (from a license/permit application or awetland determination application) The EEPD can request the applicant to provide an analysis ofthe property.Further, County Code Section 27-411(b)(2)a. requires that for any Tree Removal Licenseapplication for a parcel designated as a Natural Forest Community (such as Local Areas ofParticular Concern and Natural Resource Areas) in shall include identification and preservation ifany areas that provide habitat to listed species, areas of high wildlife utilization, and areas whichcontain relatively undisturbed canopy, subcanopy and groundcover. These requirements regulatedevelopment activity on these sites and include preservation of the most ecologically viableportions of the sites, enhancement of the preserved portions of the sites through the removal ofinvasive exotic species and replanting with native vegetation, and the preservation of the preservedportion of the site in perpetuity through the requirement of a conservation easement.2

Item 2c.- What guidance and requirements regarding conservation protection is given to both Countyemployees and the non-county managing authorities of Broward’s 322 “Protected Natural Lands” sites?Anything that the County uses to achieve protection for these Protected Natural Lands would be relevantand of interest to us.It must be noted that not all 322 “Protected Natural Lands” are owned or licensed by the County.If any of this sites have an County ERL and/or Tree Removal License, the licensee shall follow thelicense requirements, including any requirements of the conservation easements granted as part ofthe license issuance, as well as any other maintenance requirements listed in these licenses’conditions.Item 3a.-. What other projects on Protected Natural Land sites are currently approved for work thatcould impinge historical plant and wildlife species living on or using the site or any rare habitat on thesite.On December 4, 2018, SWM2018-081-0 was issued to the City of Fort Lauderdale. This SWMlicense is a conceptional license for drainage improvements within seven neighborhoods (includingthe River Oaks Neighborhood). SWM license and ERL can be found ossePresentation SurfaceWaterLicense&PosseObjectId 48230186SWM License No. SWM2002-028-3 and ERL No. DF15-1007 were issued on April 24, 2020 fora property owned by CLIFF BERRY FAMILY LP (Parcel No. 504223260010), which included aportion of the “Local Area of Particular Concern” (LAPC) No. 93. SWM license and ERL can befound ossePresentation SurfaceWaterLicense&PosseObjectId 31773486The Tree Preservation Program staff is still undertaking a review of tree removal licenses: The listof licenses will be provided this week under separate cover as part of the Public Record Request(#76282).Item 3b.- Which of the 322 Protected Natural Land sites have approvals in process (not yet approved)?A SWM license application (Application No. L2019-031) for construction of the River OaksNeighborhood drainage improvements. ERL application can be found ossePresentation SurfaceWaterLicense&PosseObjectId 52266257ERL Application No. DF20-1121 NSU Port Parcel. ERL application can be found ossePresentation EnvironmentalResourceLicense&PosseObjectId 63681840The Tree Preservation Program staff is still undertaking a review of tree removal licenses: The listof licenses will be provided this week under separate cover as part of the Public Record Request(#76282).3

Item 3c.- I understand that the Panther Arena Mitigation Area, a Protected Natural Land site “managedby Broward County” is not managed by Broward Parks Environmental Program.Please note, while a number of the natural lands listed on the inventory are managed by CountyParks, a number are City managed (about a third of the total site list were facilitated acquisitionswith 2000 bond funds), and a number are privately managed.ERL license No. DF87-1127 for Amerifirst-Sawgrass Mill (Panther Arena) did not require aconservation easement. ERL license can be found ossePresentation EnvironmentalResourceLicense&PosseObjectId 37249360Item 3d.- What other county-managed Protected Natural Land sites also lack active management by theCounty?Of the Protected Natural Lands in the Inventory which are County managed: 3 sites - Tree Preserves (non-wetlands) are County owned and preserved for native trees. There isno specific management plan other than preservation of site for the associated trees26 sites - County Parks that actively managed with management plans18 sites - County-owned wetlands mitigation sites with permitted wetlands improvements, fiveyear schedule for completion, and life-time maintenance requirements4 sites - County managed, but with state and/or municipal ownership1 site - managed by Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division 270 sites - owned and managed by municipalities or by private entities. Municipal sites arenamely city Parks, a few are wetland mitigation sites, managed by the City. The majority ofprivately owned sites are mitigation sits, some with conservation easements, some without,usually designated by Plat, with lifetime maintenance requirements.Item 3e.-I am aware of the use of bulldozers in natural land restoration such as Bill Baggs State Park,Miramar Pinelands, and Westlake Park. When such work, or any significant work, is proposed, a surveyof historical plant and wildlife species living on or using the site (such as migratory species) and any rarehabitat on that site must be conducted. There are only a handful of conservation contractors capable ofrecognizing historical plants and another handful capable of recognizing historical wildlife species andunderstanding habitat, but they are available and at a cost not greater than incompetent contractors.Please ask if the County needs help to create a list of them.Any work on wetlands requires review and approval through an ERL from the EPGMD (Aquaticand Wetland Resource Program). The County Tree Preservation Ordinance only have jurisdictionover certain cities/areas/properties within the County. Any tree removal within the County’s TreePreservation Ordinance jurisdictional areas requires review and approval through a tree removallicense from the EPGMD (Tree Preservation Program). Failure to obtain a license (ERL or treeremoval license) will result in enforcement action.4

We hope that this information addresses your questions. Should you have any additional questionsregarding the licensing of this project or the County’s Natural Lands inventory, please do not hesitate tocontact Mr. Carlos Adorisio ([email protected]) or myself ([email protected]).Sincerely,Jennifer L. Jurado, Ph.D.Chief Resilience Officer and DirectorEnvironmental Planning and Community Resilience Division5