A Florida grandmother who has lived in a tree house for 25 years, has been told that she must tear it down or face nearly $7,000 in fines.
Shawnee Chasser, 65, has spent the last year fighting Miami-Dade County over her home called Shawnee’s Paradise, that sits between an oak and strangler fig tree in her late son Joshua’s yard, according to the Miami Herald.
The county has said the tree house was built illegally, is unsafe and must be demolished in the next four months or she could face $7,000 in fines. Chasser said she has already paid $3,000 in fines.
But the grandmother, who mass-produces and sells Shawnee’s Greenthumb Popcorn which is stocked in Whole Foods, vowed that she will not take anything down and will continue to live there with her pet raccoon Coonie.
‘I’ll chain myself to that tree house,’ Chasser told the Herald.
Chasser sleeps in a double bed and her home is decorated with family pictures, books and a small couch.
‘When I am up in my tree house in thunder, lightning and rain, I am in heaven,’ Chasser told the Herald.
Problems started a year ago when someone complained that Chasser was running the property like an apartment complex and campground in the middle of a single-family neighborhood.
Last September she was issued a citation by county code enforcement for illegally running a rooming house and for work conducted at the property without permits, including the pond, fountain and the tree house.
Ricardo Roig, Miami-Dade’s code enforcement division director, told the Herald that Chasser’s case was the first time he’s ever dealt with ‘somebody living in a tree house’.
Roig said the county’s issue with Chasser’s cottage is that it’s unsafe and South Florida has strict rules about building codes because of the frequency of hurricanes.
He also said that running water and electricity have to be installed with permits and inspections.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.