Building a treehouse in your own back yard won’t usually land you in trouble with the law—unless your back yard is in Greenwich Village. Melinda Hackett learned that the hard way, when a neighbor called the police to report a “structure in the rear which is nailed to a tree” and “looks unsafe,” complaining that it had no construction permit. “I got home and the police were at the door,” Hackett tells the AP. “Then firefighters came.”
The incident prompted months of legal battles. Hackett’s treehouse is a rarity, so the judges on the environmental control board didn’t know what to do with it. They “scratched their heads, and, finally, the case was dismissed,” Hackett says. The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has even given it protected status, because it’s in a historic district.