A Family Is Fighting Town Officials To Save Their Kids’ Tree House

by Caralynn Lippo
Caralynn is a Brooklyn, NY-based editor and writer, with a focus on lifestyle and entertainment content. She has bylines on MSN, HelloGiggles, Business Insider, Romper, Redbook Magazine, and more. In her free time, she enjoys watching (and talking!) about television and fostering dogs through a local rescue.

Bayden and Brianna Lepper were so happy when their dad built them a beautiful, elaborate tree house.

And it’s no surprise — what child didn’t grow up dreaming of having a treetop hideaway they could call their very own? Unfortunately, the family’s town wasn’t having it and deemed the tree house a safety issue.

CBS2 reports that after a photo of the tree house was taken, Babylon Village (a town in Babylon, New York) declared that it was off-limits. Officials told homeowner John Lepper that he needed a permit and variance for the 86-square-foot tree house, which was built on the Leppers’ property after a building inspector cited that the tree house wasn’t in compliance.

“I built a nice, safe outdoor playground for these kids and they’ve been ordered not to use it,” John told CBS2.

“It’s just a shame. Our kids are heartbroken, and so am I,” his wife, Noelle, added.

John decided to fight to keep the tree house for his kids, citing building code which reportedly states that permits are not required to build a structure that’s under 90 square feet. Having already attended three court hearings about the matter, John thinks the whole debacle is just a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“If I felt I was breaking the law, I would gladly take the tree house down and pay the fine,” John said.

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