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Smoke coming from the Victoria Oaks development in DeLand has angered some nearby residents. 

Victoria Oaks, a development project from homebuilding company D.R. Horton, is currently under the second phase of its construction. Hundreds of trees have been cleared at the end of Elizabeth Road, inside the neighborhood. The trees are apparently being burned to make way for more open space.

According to nearby resident Lynda Ruf, the smoke is not only bothering her and others, but could be in violation of an agreement between D.R. Horton and the City of DeLand.

“The smoke was bad enough that at one point I had to close my windows,” Ruf said.

She said that their expectation when negotiating with D.R. Horton was that the company clearing the land would mulch all of the trees from both phases of construction.

“We said OK [to] the entire development, and they said ‘yeah, yeah, yeah,’ but we were very clear with no burning,” Ruf said. She said the company clearing the trees only mulched trees during the first phase of construction. 

Two workers on scene said they had received permission from the Department of Forestry to do the burning. According to Ruf, the City of DeLand is investigating further.

The Beacon will continue to follow this story.


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