Neighbors petition against use of flammable plants

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - A group of neighbors is taking a stand against a major housing developer, to keep their community safe. The Carolina Forest homeowners are putting up a fight against the company's landscaping plans.

Nearly 500 neighbors in The Farm community have signed a petition that asks the home builder D.R. Horton to stop using pine straw in the next building phase. They petition explains pine straw is too flammable, and Farm residents don't want it near their homes.

"I haven't had anyone who didn't want to sign, let's put it that way. It's just a matter of knocking on peoples' doors and getting more signatures," said Farm  homeowner Ronald Taglibue. He and wife Susan started the petition when they learned D.R. Horton plans to use pine straw to landscape the new phase of homes underway. The Taglibues say it's a known fact the plant ignites easily and burns quickly.

Neighbors who support the petition say the dangers of a wildfire have hit too close to home. "In lieu of what happened in Barefoot Landing and Windsor Green, I adamantly think pine straw should not be used," said Farm resident Bob Canestra.

The Taglibues say fire safety is a priority for members of the Farm community. The Farm became a nationally recognized firewise community in 2010, which means homeowners took the recommended steps to protect their property from wildfire risks.

Taglibues says over the years many homeowners in The Farm community have replaced pine straw around their homes with less flammable options like stones.

The Taglibues plan to submit the signed petitions to D.R.Horton in the beginning of June. A representative for D.R. Horton could not be reached for comment.

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