Fate of beach tree house up in the air

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HOLMES BEACH - The future of a two-story beach-front tree house remains in jeopardy in Manatee County.

Richard Hazen and his wife Lynn Tran built it two years ago for $20,000 on their property at Angelino's Sea Lodge.

But the City of Holmes Beach says the couple never got written approval, and the structure is too close to the water.

Lynn Tran says she got verbal approval from a formal building official.  "It's a wonderful project and I hope I can keep it," Tran said.

While this drama plays out, guests at the couples' resort are surprised at the conflict, including Dave Hole of the United Kingdom.  "I don't know how approval works in this country, but you would think they'd get some retrospective approval for something like that," Hole said.

But the city says 'after the fact' approval is not an option since they say the treehouse violates the coastal construction control line. In other words, it's too close to the water.

The couple is hoping a resolution can be found. It's up to Code Enforcement as to whether to levy a daily fine of $500.

The couple is hoping for support with an online petition at www.CoolTreeHouse.com.