Holmes Beach treehouse couple ask neighbors for help - WFLA News Channel 8

Holmes Beach treehouse couple ask neighbors for help

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

It's becoming a legal saga with a worldwide audience.

The owners of a Holmes Beach treehouse claim they had verbal permission to build it, but now the city is telling them to tear it down.

It's already made headlines around the world, and on Tuesday night, the owners will start asking their neighbors for help.

The couple who own this treehouse want to get a proposed ordinance passed that would allow the treehouse to remain.

But before commissioners can decide on the measure, the owners need to collect more than 300 signatures on a formal city petition.

Off Avenue 'E', behind Angelino's Beach resort, you'll find the latest international attraction at Holmes Beach.

But the owners certainly didn't ask for all this attention.

In April 2011, Richard Hazen got verbal permission from a city official to build a treehouse. After constructing the two-story wonder, he and his wife, Lynn Tran, recently got a city notice saying it violates building codes and needs to be torn down.

Tran said, "This is our private land, and we're not intruding on anyone's private property."

As a solution to the problem, the couple has written a proposed ordinance which they'll bring up to city commissioners.

If approved, it would allow the treehouse to legally remain on the property.

Tran said, "In return we will not hold the city liable for any injury or damages from us using the treehouse."

The ordinance also says the treehouse would be for private use only.

The city code says the couple must collect more than 300 signatures from registered voters in the city.

Then, the commission can decide to approve, or reject it. If a decision is not made in a certain timeframe, it could then be sent for a citywide vote.

"This is the least costly avenue for both the city and us. If we get enough registered voters to vote, it will help us avoid litigation costs," said Tran.

Last week, Tran sent a letter to Holmes Beach commissioners and residents to lay out the details of the proposed ordinance.

In the letter she wrote, ‘It is not about blaming and debating over a long list of allegations in court or code board hearing. It is about finding a win-win solutions and a happy ending for all.'

"[The treehouse] is safe for us, there's no reason why we have to go through all of that-pointing fingers," said Tran.

On Tuesday night, Lynn Tran will go to a city commission meeting to get some final paperwork and start collecting signatures on that formal petition.

It can only be signed by registered voters in the city.

In the meantime, the city's code enforcement board will meet on June 20th to decide whether to charge fines that could reach up to $500 dollars a day.

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Polk deputies arrest Plant City murder suspect

    Polk deputies arrest Plant City murder suspect

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:59 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:59:35 GMT
    Master Brown was arrested on a second degree murder warrant. Polk Co. Jail booking photoMaster Brown was arrested on a second degree murder warrant. Polk Co. Jail booking photo
    Plant City Police Officers have arrested a man suspected of shooting and killing a man outside a convenience store on Wednesday.
    Plant City Police Officers have arrested a man suspected of shooting and killing a man outside a convenience store on Wednesday.
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:55:03 GMT
    Police in Afghanistan say a security guard has opened fire in a Kabul hospital, killing three foreigners and wounding one other person.
    An Afghan government security guard opened fire Thursday on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital, killing three American physicians and wounding a U.S. nurse, officials said.
  • Police working with 2 new victims in Polk teacher sex scandal

    Police working with 2 new victims in Polk teacher sex scandal

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:42 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:42:39 GMT
    The Lakeland Police Department is working with two new potential victims in the case involving Jennifer Fichter, the former Polk County high school teacher who faces multiple sex charges.
    The Lakeland Police Department is working with two new potential victims in the case involving Jennifer Fichter, the former Polk County high school teacher who faces multiple sex charges.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

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