Holmes beach could tear down couple's tree house - WNCT

Holmes beach could tear down couple's tree house

Posted: Updated:
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Holmes Beach couple wants to finish building the tree house of their dreams, but now the city is telling them to tear it down.

The couple is still awaiting word on when the city will act.

The two story structure is found on an Australian pine tree off Avenue E in Holmes Beach.

Richard Hazen and Lynn Tran's tree house is not one you would normally find in any back yard.

It's two stories tall, complete with a hammocks and a perfect view of the Gulf of Mexico.

The couple wanted a cozy spot to relax and get away, and this tree was the perfect solution.

"We take naps up here, a glass of wine, watch the sunset," said Hazen.

In April 2011, Hazen asked a city building official for permission to build a tree house, and they were told no permits were required.

Tran said, "[The building official said:] Just go ahead, make it safe so no one falls out."

But a few weeks ago, a code enforcement officer sent a notice saying the tree house violates building codes and is dangerous to the public.

In the violation notice, the city says they may have been misled into believing that this was supposed to be some kid's tree house.

Hazen said, "I have no son, I never said I had a son, and I don't plan to have a son."

In the letter, Code Enforcement Officer David Forbes wrote, "To be frankly blunt, if you did not receive a written response to a detailed submittal then no approval can be inferred from a casual conversation."

The letter says if the couple didn't comply or tear down by Wednesday, they could be fined up to $500 a day.

"I can't afford to give them $500," said Hazen.

The couple have not heard from the city at this time. Tran said she expects the city to reach out next week.

Tran said, "Somebody would probably say ignorance is not an excuse, but honestly when they say ‘no permits required', how many people ask for paperwork when they say ‘no permits required'?"

The couple already spent $20,000 on the project but the city says that doesn't matter, it was built illegally so it must come down.

Hazen and his wife has started an online petition to save it and it's already collected hundreds of signatures.

The couple have also hired an attorney that is aggressively fighting the city.

News Channel 8 reached out to a city official but has not heard back yet at this time.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Are background checks enough for Florida teachers?

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:41:35 GMT

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.

    In an effort to weed out potential perverts, Florida law requires fingerprinting and criminal background checks before school districts hire employees that will have any contact with children.


  • Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Pasco mix-up sends registration notices to wrong drivers

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:02:51 GMT
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
    The vehicle registration information of hundreds of drivers in Pasco County were sent to the wrong person in a mix-up that led to the firing of a contractor.
  • Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Flushable wipes, not so flushable says Tampa's wastewater officials

    Friday, April 18 2014 3:52 PM EDT2014-04-18 19:52:20 GMT
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
    Personal wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, flushable wipes. They are all designed to help us deal with delicate issues. But the wipes themselves are actually pretty sturdy and increasingly local water systems are finding they are creating costly problems.
  • NewsMore>>

  • GOP campaign committee has $31M to hold House

    GOP campaign committee has $31M to hold House

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:46 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:46:04 GMT
    The House Republican campaign committee says it raised almost $10 million in March and has $31 million in the bank to defend the GOP's majority.
    The House Republican campaign committee raised almost $10 million in March and has $31.2 million banked to defend the party's majority, according to financial reports filed Sunday.
  • Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:23:00 GMT
    Tens of thousands gathered for a weekend of Colorado cannabis-themed festivals and entertainment. (Source: MGN) Tens of thousands gathered for a weekend of Colorado cannabis-themed festivals and entertainment. (Source: MGN)
    The 4/20 stoner holiday is going mainstream in Colorado.
    Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the...
  • Two killed, two injured in Tampa park shooting

    Two killed, two injured in Tampa park shooting

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:18 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:18:34 GMT

    Two people were killed and two injured in a shooting at Al Barnes Park on 32nd Street in east Tampa on Sunday. Zedmon Colepepper, 16, and Nico Charles Crawford, 22, died at the scene, Tampa police said. The two injured victims, whose names were not released, were in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital late Sunday.

    Two people were killed and two injured in a shooting at Al Barnes Park on 32nd Street in east Tampa on Sunday. Zedmon Colepepper, 16, and Nico Charles Crawford, 22, died at the scene, Tampa police said. The two injured victims, whose names were not released, were in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital late Sunday.

Powered by WorldNow

3221 South Evans Street
Greenville N.C. 27834

Telephone: 252.355.8500
Fax: 252.355.8568
Email: newsdesk@wnct.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.