Owners of some pricey homes in The Villages have been billed $14,500 for unlawful cutting of vegetation on protected land near their homes.
The cutting took place at three homes on Wading Heron Way at Lake Deaton. Invoices have gone out to the trio of homeowners believed to be responsible for the damage which was first reported this past December. They have 10 days to submit payment, which would make the due date at the end of next week.
The purchase prices of homes on Wading Heron Way range from $529,600 to $1.4 million. District officials did not reveal the addresses of the homeowners who have been billed for the unlawful cutting.
Community Development District 10 officials lamented at Thursday’s meeting that residents don’t seem to be comprehending the harm they are doing, often in the name of preserving or improving their water view.
“It’s unfortunate these things happen,” said Deputy District Manager Kenny Blocker.
There was a high-profile tree-cutting incident at about the same time on Valleybrook Way at Lake Deaton, however the two cases are not related, according to District officials.
The contractor who was prosecuted in the Valleybrook Way case was placed on probation. He had also been investigated in 2017 in the chainsawing of vegetation at another home with a scenic view of Lake Deaton.
The granddaddy of these cases was discovered in December 2014 at Lake Miona where trees were cleared to improve the view at expensive waterfront homes. A mysterious group called Friends of Lake Miona funneled a $25,000 check through an attorney to the District Office to make the matter go away. No one was ever prosecuted.