A couple in St. Homes Beach on Anna Maria Island, a barrier island of Bradenton, Florida, is fighting to keep its beachfront treehouse that the city wants to be torn down.
According to the Islander, Richard and Lynn-Tran Hazen have already spent $170,000 fighting to keep the treehouse and have even tried taking the case to the Supreme Court…twice. The treehouse was built by the couple back in 2011 at Angelino’s Sea Lodge, but the city found the house’s structure in violation and has wanted it torn down since 2013. City officials also believe that the treehouse didn’t have a permit and was “beyond the setback for the erosion control line.”
According to a post by Lynn Tran-Hazen: In 2011, the City of Holmes Beach allowed us to build a treehouse in our grand Australian pine tree by the sea. You cannot live and sleep in this treehouse as it is built as an open deck to enjoy the outdoors and nature. We decorated it like a Robinson Crusoe treehouse to remind us of a favorite childhood fantasy. While others enjoy the beach under big umbrellas and tents, we enjoy it from our treehouse. Permit was not required at that time. The treehouse brings smiles to many beachgoers as it adds character to the island getaway lifestyle. But by the end of 2011, an anonymous person complained to the government about building without a permit. This call started a lengthy 9 years of legal struggle that is still ongoing.
The couple has four vacation rental dwelling units but the city refused to renew their vacation rental license until they pay the nearly $100,000 accumulated fines.
The ongoing litigation has caused the couple to start a GoFundMe page titled “Fund Our Tree of Love for justice and Liberty.”
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Bradenton Florida Treehouse