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Developer caught working on controversial subdivision without permit

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BATON ROUGE - Developers have been caught doing work on a controversial subdivision along Jones Creek more than two weeks before the proper permit was issued, according to a city-parish official.

The developer, D.R. Horton Inc-Gulf Coast, was doing earthwork at the Lakes at Jones Creek subdivision on July 23, but the permit was not issued until August 8, said Shannon Dupont, the city-parish engineer for subdivisions.

Residents living near the subdivision were the first to notify city-parish officials. They claim work began at the site as early as late June.

Doug Daigle was among the neighbors who noticed the work being done.

"It's not supposed to work that way. There are rules," he said.

Many residents from several neighborhoods around the future subdivision oppose the development because it's being built along Jones Creek on an area that flooded in 2016. The land for the new subdivision is being elevated to build more than 400 houses.

Developers claim their drainage system will keep water from rolling off the high ground and into existing neighborhoods.

Daigle's home sits just on the other side of Jones Ccreek and took on several inches of water during the flood. He is not convinced.

"We're concerned with the new subdivisions being built, the next flood will be worse," he said.

The last public comment period for the development closed recently. Daigle said he hopes federal and state regulators will not approve the development because earthwork was being done without the proper city-parish permit.

WBRZ contacted Madison LaFleur with D.R. Horton Inc-Gulf Coast on Friday. LaFleur had no comment about why earthwork was being done without a permit but did say the residents were incorrect about when the work actually began.

Dupont with the city-parish did not have information about potential fines against the developer.

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