Township Orders Teen to Tear Down Treehouse

She built it as part of a class project
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2015 1:00 PM CDT
Not the treehouse in question.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A two-story treehouse sounds pretty cool, right? Apparently not so for a certain resident of a neighborhood in Leet Township, Pa., who complained about the treehouse 14-year-old Elisa Truchan built in her front yard in February as part of an eighth-grade class project. The Township Council has since ordered the family to remove the treehouse by Oct. 1, stating that local ordinances prohibit such "accessory structures" in front yards. "After two months of building it in the snow ... she worked so hard," her dad tells Fox News. Adds Elisa, "At first, I thought it was a joke, but then I found out that it wasn’t. So, then I got really sad."

The teen built the treehouse—which includes sliding windows, a rope ladder, a lock, and a clear roof so inhabitants can see the sky—in the front yard because there's not enough room in the back. The first notice the family received citing the ordinance violation, back in March, also noted that "a building permit would be required for the ‘treehouse'" and ordered it removed within 15 days, but the family got an extension until October. Elisa's dad notes that the family did research building codes, but "nothing was said about a child’s playhouse. Nothing for a treehouse. There were not zoning issues and no building permits. So, after reading those, she proceeded."

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