[Federal Register: November 17, 2006 (Volume 71, Number 222)]
[Page 66970-66971]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Construction of a Commercial Development in Lake County, FL

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice: receipt of application for an incidental take permit; 
request for comments.


SUMMARY: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) Application and Habitat 
Conservation Plan (HCP). Hancock Commons, LLC (applicant) requests an 
ITP for a duration of 5 years under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The applicant 
anticipates taking about 3.7 acres of sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi)--
occupied habitat incidental to constructing a shopping center and 
associated amenities in Lake County, Florida (Project). The applicant's 
HCP describes the mitigation and minimization measures the applicant 
proposes to address the effects of the Project to the sand skink.

DATES: We must receive any written comments on the ITP application and 
HCP on or before December 18, 2006.

ADDRESSES: If you wish to review the application and HCP, you may 
obtain a copy by writing the Field Supervisor at our Jacksonville Field 
Office, 6620 Southpoint Drive South, Suite 310, Jacksonville, FL, 
32216, or by making an appointment to visit during normal business 
hours. If you wish to comment, you may mail or hand deliver comments to 
the Jacksonville Field Office, or you may email comments to 
paula_sisson@fws.gov. For more information on reviewing documents and public 

comments and submitting comments, see SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paula Sisson, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, Jacksonville Field Office (see ADDRESSES), telephone: 904/
232-2580, ext. 126.


Public Review and Comment

    Please reference permit number TE132462-0 in all requests or

[[Page 66971]]

comments. Please include your name and return address in your email 
message. If you do not receive a confirmation from us that we have 
received your email message, contact us directly at the telephone 
number listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Our practice is to 
make comments, including names and home addresses of respondents, 
available for public review during regular business hours. Individual 
respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the 
administrative record. We will honor such requests to the extent 
allowable by law. There may also be other circumstances in which we 
would withhold from the administrative record a respondent's identity, 
as allowable by law. If you wish us to withhold your name and address, 
you must state this prominently at the beginning of your comments. We 
will not, however, consider anonymous comments. We will make all 
submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals 
identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations 
or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.
    Background: Due to the reduction in quality and acreage and the 
rapid development of xeric (bare, scrub-like areas with sandy soils, 
open canopies) upland communities, the sand skink is reportedly 
declining throughout most of its range. By some estimates, as much as 
90 percent of the scrub ecosystem has already been lost to residential 
development and conversion to agriculture, primarily citrus groves.
    Applicant's Proposal: The applicant is requesting take of 3.7 acres 
of occupied sand skink habitat incidental to the construction of a 
shopping center (Hancock Commons) on 13.96 acres in Lake County, 
Florida. Hancock Commons is located south of State Road 50 and East of 
Hancock Road, in Section 27, Township 22 South, Range 26 East, near 
    The proposed Hancock Commons development will consist of 
approximately 38,100 square feet of shopping center space that will 
support a bank, a fast-food restaurant, a sit-down restaurant, and 
retail sale. Currently, the property consists primarily of xeric oak 
forest with scattered open patches of sand and a disturbed area along 
the western boundary.
    The Applicant proposes to mitigate for 3.7 acres of impacts by 
purchasing a 43-acre parcel in Polk County, FL, within the 
boundaries of the Lake Wales Ridge. This property is being referred to 
as the Eddinger Mitigation Property and is located south of State Road 
60, west of Walk-in-the-Water Road, in Section 6, Township 31 South, 
Range 29 East. This property consists of three tax parcels, the 
northern two of which are being utilized to mitigate for the impacts 
associated with the Hancock Commons development.
    The Service has determined that the Applicant's proposal, including 
the proposed mitigation and minimization measures, will have a minor or 
negligible effect on the species covered in the HCP. Therefore, the ITP 
is a ``low-effect'' project and qualifies for a categorical exclusion 
under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as provided by the 
Department of the Interior Manual (516 DM 2 Appendix 1 and 516 DM 6 
Appendix 1). This preliminary information may be revised based on our 
review of public comments that we receive in response to this notice. 
Low-effect HCPs are those involving (1) minor or negligible effects on 
federally listed or candidate species and their habitats, and (2) minor 
or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources.
    We will evaluate the HCP and comments submitted thereon to 
determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 
10(a) of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). If we determine that the 
application meets those requirements, we will issue the ITP for 
incidental take of the sand skink. We will also evaluate whether 
issuance of the section 10(a)(1)(B) ITP complies with section 7 of the 
Act by conducting an intra-Service section 7 consultation. We will use 
the results of this consultation, in combination with the above 
findings, in the final analysis to determine whether or not to issue 
the ITP.

    Authority: We provide this notice under Section 10 of the 
Endangered Species Act and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: November 6, 2006.
David L. Hankla,
Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office.
 [FR Doc. E6-19442 Filed 11-16-06; 8:45 am]