This serves as notification from the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of a request from Chatham County Department of Engineering for a Coastal Marshlands Protection Act (CMPA) permit under Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 12-5-280 et seq., to maintain existing drainage infrastructure in order to stabilize an existing county maintained road. Whippoorwill Road traverses a county-maintained drainage canal in coastal marshlands associated with a tributary to Beard Creek, Wilmington Island, Chatham County, Georgia. The proposed modification is less than 1/10 of an acre and is considered a minor alteration of coastal marshlands under O.C.G.A. 12-5-280 et. seq.
A review of historical county records reveals the sixty (60) foot right of way (ROW) known as Whippoorwill Road was identified on the South Wind subdivision plat recorded by Chatham County September 17, 1957. Currently, Whippoorwill Road provides vehicular access for approximately twenty (20) residential lots within the developed South Wind subdivision. The existing stormwater infrastructure project consists of two (2) concrete headwalls and associated rip rap along the northern and southern shoulders of Whippoorwill Road. Three (3), 32-inch reinforced concrete pipes (RCP) are imbedded under Whippoorwill Road and the headwalls associated with the terminal ends of the RCP (intake and outfall) are stabilized with rip rap. The southern headwall measures approximately 13 ft. x 3.5 ft. x 10 in. (wall thickness) and the associated rip rap impacts total approximately 50sq.ft. (0.0001 acre).The northern headwall measures approximately 13 ft. x 3.5 ft. x 10 in. (wall thickness) and the associated rip rap impacts total approximately 50sq.ft. (0.0001 acre). Total impacts for the existing stormwater infrastructure at this location total approximately 100sq.ft. (0.0023 acre).
The proposed project includes the installation of check valves within each of the 3 existing 32-inch RCP to minimize storm surge; grading, filling and recontouring approximately 1,090sq.ft. (0.025 acre) of the ROW along the existing northern shoulder; and the installation of approximately 540sq.ft. (0.0124 acre) of rip rap along the grassed shoulder associated with northern travel lane of Whippoorwill Road. Total impacts for the proposed improvements and the existing stormwater infrastructure total approximately 1,730sq.ft. (0.0397 acre).
The applicant has stated that the project does not contain an upland component.
It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that the project is not contrary to the public interest and that no feasible alternative sites exist. Impacts to coastal marshlands must be minimal in size. In passing upon the application for permit, the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee shall consider the public interest: (1) Whether or not unreasonably harmful obstruction to or alteration of the natural flow of navigational water within the affected area will arise as a result of the proposal; (2) Whether or not unreasonably harmful or increased erosion, shoaling of channels, or stagnant areas of water will be created; and (3) Whether or not the granting of a permit and the completion of the applicants proposal will unreasonably interfere with the conservation of fish, shrimp, oysters, crabs, clams, or other marine life, wildlife, or other resources, including but not limited to water and oxygen supply.
A detailed public notice with drawings has been distributed and is available by visiting the Department of Natural Resources website: CoastalGaDNR.org under “Public Notices.”
Please provide this office with substantive, site-specific comments as to why the proposed work should or should not proceed. Comments and questions concerning this proposed project should be submitted in writing and be submitted by the close of business on March 1, 2021 to Deb Barreiro, Department of Natural Resources, 185 Richard Davis Drive, Suite 104, Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324.