General discussion

Mark a win for the little guy in NYC.

Don't you just hate nosy neighbors who cling to "codes" in order to harass other property owners? We should get back to intrinsic values for property and consider any extra value based on neighborhood to be a plus.

Shortly after Melinda Hackett put up the round, cedar treehouse for her girls in a broad-trunked London Plane tree in her tiny Greenwich Village backyard,.... "I got home and the police were at the door," says Hackett, a 49-year-old artist. "Then firefighters came."

Though the treehouse is only five years old, Hackett's townhouse is from the 1860s, she bought it from musician David Byrne of the Talking Heads.

"I came from the country with three little girls who were used to running around," their mother says. "I wanted them to have an oasis of calm in the city, a private space."

Hackett was forced to defend herself before the city's Environmental Control Board court, where "none of the judges knew what to do with a treehouse," it cost about as much as the construction price to settle three violation notices from the Department of Buildings for erecting a structure in a protected district without a permit, plus architect's fees.

In New York, where legal codes address buildings with foundations, plumbing and other construction factors, the ECB judges in June 2006 "scratched their heads, and finally, the case was dismissed,"

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Well, not exactly a traditional tree house

of the "made with the teeth" variety but certainly nothing, IMO, that should draw architectural concerns. I travel in my work and quite often see front yard tree trunk sculptures and totems made from trees that either died or were nuisances of some type and wonder if some nosy neighbors complain about them as well.

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Better than half buried tires painted white..

...set on both sides of the driveway, or an old toilet bowl with flowers growing out of it. That's impressive street art. As for the treehouse, I was thinking it looked better than anything around it, which may be what upset the neighbor, lol.

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Could just be spite if the lady is correct that
"But Hackett's neighbor, who she says "didn't love that I had moved in here with two dogs and three kids," wasn't as appreciative."

Some folks don't like to be around anyone but those of their own age or those without children or pets. The structure might have been the alibi and not the real issue. The neighbor had no legal way to ban children but found a possible legal avenue that went to a dead end. We have areas of my town with stupid rules too.
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I agree about excessive building restrictions

but most people wouldn't like something built next door and would complain. It's just different things for different people.

And of course it's a bigger annoyance what your neighbor does when you're only a few feet apart instead of acre or more country plots.

"...consider any extra value based on neighborhood to be a plus."

Of course, affecting the value of your neighbors property is the justification for many of the codes that are not safety based. It's often the problem that one man's delight is another man's trash.

Of course, moving into a historic district or building you know you're going to run into all sorts of restraints. One of the reasons such would be my last choice of a neighborhood to move into a house.

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What a crock....

I read that one, but the homeowner had to fight for 5yrs. in order to win. Plus, it was a case the govt. enities just didn't think of ever handling. The permit was granted and all that, but the court costs, so who pays that? The neighbor that complained, well let's hope they move instead.

Hear about the Sean Connery and his neighbor are at odds with each other. He lives in NYC and the neighbor complains of constant noise or going ons. It hits home sorta thing, so again it pays to be friends with neighbors, but your home(castle) can be assaulted. Wink -----Willy Happy

Lift the moat bridge, prepare for a seige.

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