Code Enforcement Comes Between Hippie Grandmother & Her Treehouse

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s a home tour like no other, given by a self-proclaimed hippie who simply wants to remain living inside it.

Shawnee Chasser's Tree House (Source: Facebook)

Shawnee Chasser’s Tree House (Source: Facebook)

“This is my wonderful little kitchen and in this tiny, little kitchen, I’ve cooked for 40 people,” says the treehouse owner, Shawnee Chasser.

Right in the middle of northwest Miami-Dade County, off the busy N.E. 135th Street, is a tropical oasis.

Shawnee Chasser gives new meaning to “one with nature.”

“I can’t live indoors,” she says. “I can’t live with screens or windows any of that. I have to feel the rain when it’s pouring at night.”

It’s a lifestyle she’s been living for most of her life.

“Starting 40 years ago as a hippie, protesting the Vietnam War and realizing that I started my less-is-more philosophy,” said Chasser. “Live simply so that others may simply live. And I think now the tiny house nation is kind of really big and that’s what I’ve been about for 40 years.”

But this tree house, and the structure surrounding it, may have to come down. Code enforcement says it’s not safe.

“Their main issue is somebody squealed on me that I let live here a year ago, and they came in very rudely, and very authoritarian, and ripped the place up.”

“The treehouse under discussion, and other structures on the property, were not properly permitted or built to the standards of the Florida Building Code,” the county said in a released statement. “These structures were found to be unsafe by the Unsafe Structures Panel. It’s an unfortunate situation that must be corrected for the safety of the residents and neighbors.”

Chasser, however, says her home is safe and is hoping the national and international attention she’s getting will encourage the county to work with her and not force her to demolish the treehouse.

“I want to start a new clause instead of being grandfathered in,” Chasser says. “I want to be grandmothered in. Never been done. I am a grandmother. It’s time.”

Chasser told CBS4 news that the repairs required by code enforcement would cost her more than $100,000. Money this grandmother doesn’t have.

More from Tiani Jones

One Comment

  1. Ben says:

    Let her live in HER HOME! If it falls down it falls down. She knows that! Hell, it’s been there 40 years, she’s a grandmother, don’t you have anything important to worry about???

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