The Miami Herald reports that a 65 year old grandmother is locked in a battle with Dade County building code officials over her unusual house.

The newspaper says building code officers claim the tree house is unsafe, constructed without building permits and below county standards.


However, owner Shawnee Chaser, reports there is nothing wrong with the tree house she has lived in since 1992. She is an open-air lover who constructed the tree house on the property of her son, who passed away in 2009. It’s located on heavily treed property and invisible from the street.

“I’m not taking down anything, I’ll chain myself to the tree,” vows Chaser who sells organic popcorn at a local store.


The paper says Chaser’s problems started in 2013 after her daughter purchased the property from her son’s estate. She began renting out rooms, and spaces for mini campers and tents.

In 2014, Dade County bylaw officers received a report that the property was being run like a rooming house, in a single family neighborhood. The daughter claims the complaint was lodged by a disgruntled former tenant.


By-law officer, Ricardo Roig, told the Miami Herald he decided last September it was an illegal rooming house and had no work permits for alternations to the main house, or the tree house.

CBS Miami says the family has already been hit with $3,000 in fines, and could receive another $7,000 in fines unless the grandmother abandons the tree house.


Roig told the Miami Herald that all residents of the county must follow building codes. He said due to hurricanes, building permits and inspections are needed for running water and electricity. He also noted that the structure was below standards, and deemed unsafe. He said Chaser was given three months to demolish her tree house.

“When I’m living in my tree house in the lightning and rain, I’m in heaven. There’s nothing nicer, more spiritual or more wonderful,” Chaser announced.

© Milton~2016

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