Florida grandmother is ordered to tear down her Miami treehouse she has lived in for 17 YEARS after $40k of fines over ‘unsafe’ construction – despite the fact she claims her claustrophobia makes living indoors impossible
- 72-year-old Shawnee Chasser has decided to comply with Miami-Dade County and knock down her home
- In eight years she has racked up $40,000 for ‘unsafe’ construction
- She will build a new treehouse since she cannot live indoors due to claustrophobia and the need to hear the elements
Since 2015, Shawnee Chasser, 72, has had neighbors report her property to Miami-Dade County and the Building Code Enforcement Department.
Once code enforcers found that her treehouse wasn’t safe to live in they gave her two options- take it down or bring it up to code.
She has decided to stop fighting and will start the process of tearing her home down on September 18, but living indoors is not an option for Chasser.
Remaining outdoors, Chasser will build her next home up to code and with proper permits.
The grandmother has always lived outdoors and told 7News Miami: ‘I have to hear the rain and the wind at night. If I don’t, I go crazy, and I’m claustrophobic.’
She bought the property almost 20 years ago for her son, but after he died she decided to move in.
Most recently, she has lived in the elements with the company of her two grandchildren in what she calls her ‘oasis’.
She also shares her outdoor home with her pet raccoon named Coonie.
Making new additions to her treehouse over the years, she’s moved her bedroom up higher in the tree, with a kitchen and living room on the ground, a pool with a water fountain, and a new bedroom she built inside of a Tiki hut.
The new living room and kitchen have become a sanctuary for not only her, but her children and grandchildren.
Chasser told Local10 News: ‘It has got everything I could possibly need.’
According to the GoFundMe that she set up herself, Chasser was fined $11,320 along with an additional charge of $11,481.50 in one day for violating Chapter 33 of Florida zoning law and ‘unauthorized use within a single-family residential district.’
It also stated that even after she moved out of the determined ‘unsfae’ structure, more fines arrived with the country trying to get her to relocate again.
After years of fighting, Chasser is ready to knock down her home and find a sense of peace.
‘Right now I am trying to clear it. I am just tired of not having my own life,’ Chasser told Local10 News.
To tear down her current outdoor home in Biscayne Gardens, Chasser will have to dish out an additional $30,000 on top of other expenses she has already made, according to CBS News Miami.
On her GoFundMe page she has itemized all the money she has spent on her oasis so far.
‘Contractor $2,000, Architect $2,500, Lawyer $2,500, Seminole Bloodline Certificate $800, Repairs and kitchen tare [sic] down $10,000, New Home structure $5,000, to allow tare [sic] down of old treehouse.’
To afford her mortgage and utility bills Chasser rents her house out to more than five tenants.
Miami-Dade county told CBS News Miami that they haven’t taken action and are working to get her property up to date and up to code.
So far, her fundraising page has amassed a total $1,205 in donations to help her ‘comply with Code, save her home and still be able to feed and raise her two grandchildren.’
Her donation goal is set at $50,000 which will go towards paying off her accumulated fines and help her afford her next outdoor structure.