A Win for a Tree House!

Hi tzarrabzki
Readers! Here’s a nice story: Turns out an Iraqi war vet who made his sons (age 9 and 11) a tree house does not have to tear it down! How do you like that? Well, actually, he DOES have to tear it down in five years…but at least it has a half-decade reprieve, which is apparently the most we can hope for in this day and age. The sweet little structure violates some obscure zoning law and a neighbor (gotta love ’em!) complained. Anyway, you can read the story here. – L. 


13 Responses to A Win for a Tree House!

  1. FrancesfromCanada December 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    I followed some of the links to related stories and it turns out it wasn’t an immediate neighbor, but someone who complained anonymously. It appears the problem is that he has a corner lot and therefore his side yard has street frontage, making it a front yard. I could see there being some differences in what you can do in that case, blocking the view for cars or pedestrians trying to round the corner being my main concern. But it shouldn’t negate the ability of your kids to play on your own property.

    So why didn’t the person he spoke to on the phone give him the rules that apply to his actual lot, or at least warn him there might be exceptions?

    And, more importantly, who decreed that children’s play structures not be visible from the street? Or be some “more neutral” colour? Bet you’re not allowed to grow veggies in the front yard in Fairfax county either…

  2. Marie December 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Nice treehouse! Too bad about the 5 year tear down order.

  3. Meagan December 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    That’s disgusting. My favorite part was the little note about how they debated making him paint it a more neutral color but ultimately decided not to. Gross. Makes me want to go off grid. I guess this is a “win” but the story just makes me sad.

  4. Linda Wightman December 1, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    He must tear it down if he sells the house? To anyone with kids that would be a great selling point!

    It’s a warning to all home buyers: check out the rules (and the neighbors) before you buy. Once my family bought a house that had written into the deed that we couldn’t build a slaughterhouse in the yard. We decided we could manage without….

  5. View Point December 2, 2011 at 12:28 am #

    While I’m glad he can keep this structure for a few years, personally I think this would be more of a Free Range Kids issue if THE KIDS built their own tree house. It’s unfortunate that today everyone is so easily offended by what a neighbor does on his own property. In the old days, people didn’t seem to care if kids made a tree house that looked like something KIDS had nailed together.

  6. Selby December 2, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    An “anonymous” neighbor complained but there’s the owner’s name right up there in print. If you’re going to complain, be ready to stand up with your name and complain. Good grief, what a first-world problem to have – there’s a treehouse in your neighbor’s yard. What a white whine. This is what you get your panties into a twist about? GET. A. LIFE.

  7. Heather G December 2, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    At least the community, minus one member without the integrity to put his name to his complaint, stood behind the family and the tree house. Sad it has to come down in five years. It’s a lovely tree house that would add value to just about any home. Wonder if when the time comes they can find a way to take it apart and rebuild it somewhere where other children can enjoy it.

  8. Maureen December 2, 2011 at 7:10 am #

    I fail to see how this (awesome) treehouse is offense. Personally, I think those monstrous playsets that go for thousands of dollars are more offensive. But I bet anonymous complaining neighbor wouldn’t have a problem with one of those.

    Also, anonymous complaining neighbor needs to grow a set and complain with his/her name attached.

  9. Maureen December 2, 2011 at 7:15 am #


  10. Selby December 2, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Love the last sentence of the article: “In this day and age, with all the technology we have, having a child disappear on a bus just cannot be possible.” Um, right….because it’s NOT possible, with or without technology. Has a child ever disappeared on a school bus? Did the child in the article actually disappear? No. He was late. Welcome to life. Shit happens….

  11. Maya December 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

    Oh PLEASE….Mother-of-Neo was not angry or worried about her child, she was annoyed that the late school bus was making her late for her Core Fusion class or her Mani/Pedi…..

  12. Christina December 3, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    The anonymous “neighbor” owes that family $1800.

  13. Eldo December 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Zoning laws are stupid and the “neighbor” who reported this is an idiot and a coward. Unfortunately, there are too many busybodies nowadays with nothing better to do than to be a bother to other people. It is a consequence of a government that is too big and involved in too many things. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I am tired of all the PC crap and believe in calling a spade a spade.