ST. AUGUSTINE Fla.-- Neighbors at St. Augustine Shores are fuming over a fire prevention project they say damaged their development.
"It's terrible. It ruins the whole picturesque of the shores area," said Dick Schneckenberger.
"Part of the appeal of us buying in here two years ago was all the woods that we have," said Kim Dismore.
Debris is everywhere, steps away from neighbors' yards. Sidewalks are cracked where bulldozers plowed right through the property.
So who is responsible for this mess?
Action News has learned that the development's board of directors hired a private contractor to clear out the woods, reducing the risk of wildfires. They claim the clearing was reccommended by the Division of Forestry.
But when we asked Forestry reps, they said they only suggested the woods be thinned out. They also said that the board of directors failed to get the proper permits from the county to conduct the clearing.
"I don't think we received proper warning that this was going to take place," said Dismore. "It would have been nice for the HOA to have spoken to us maybe called a meeting that we all could have cast a vote or something."
The board of directors won't answer any questions. The project has been put on hold by St. Johns County's environmental supervisor, but neighbors say this is just the beginning of a long battle.
"I'd say the property value will go down," said Dismore.
The board of directors will be holding a meeting to discuss the issue Thursday at 7 p.m. at the development's clubhouse.