Wallenda in tree dispute with county zoning board

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Nik Wallenda is speaking out on Facebook following what he describes as an upsetting meeting with the Sarasota County Zoning Board.

He purchased a piece of property on 51st Street of North Lockwood Ridge Road with the intention of building his new training center, but now is considering building it on another piece of property or in another county altogether.

In a Facebook post on Monday night, Wallenda expressed frustration with the zoning board of appeals for Sarasota County. He wants to build a new training center, but he would either need to have the property's setback reduced, or cut down 9 healthy live oak trees.

"I was asking for all the right reasons. It's not like I was trying to do something where I'm backing up right on to another building, or it's dangerous. The reason was simply to save these trees."

Wallenda proposed a reduction in the rear yard setback of his property to accommodate the training center and not impede on the oak trees sitting towards the front of the property. But in a 3-5 vote, the board ruled against the reduction, saying it wasn't clear to board members why Wallenda couldn't meet setback requirements by moving the footprint forward on the property or by decreasing the size of the center.

"If I'm Nik Wallenda or anybody else, to me it's for the right reason. And just like anybody who loves trees, why would you cut down, why would you have to encroach on them? And again, I've tried to re-design around it and can't."

With more than 100 likes and comments on Facebook, Wallenda's loyal following continues to show their support on the famous daredevil's Facebook page.

David Oakes says "save the trees." While Marc Schlabach comments "never give up, Nik".

Wallenda doesn't plan on giving up. He can either appeal to the circuit court, or he can reapply with a different application to the board of zoning appeals for Sarasota County.