Saturday, August 17, 2019

Calgary neighbours head to appeal board over treehouse dispute

As reported on CTV News, it may only measure out to be about 24 square feet, but a treehouse in the southwest community of Killarney has neighbours at odds over its future.

The treehouse was built along the north side of the property nine years ago for Paula Rowe and Colin Whyte’s children. For years, the treehouse blended in with the other two large trees that grew in their neighbour’s yard. But, in 2017, a developer purchased the neighbour’s home to tear it down and build a fourplex.

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“It’s been a nightmare,” said Rowe of the two years since the first complaint about the treehouse. “Now, more than anything, it’s a privacy screen. We used to have a neighbour that loved us, now we’ll have four new neighbours that can clearly see into our yard.”

According to documents filed with the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, there are safety concerns and worries about the overall height of the treehouse, along with its proximity to the new fourplex.

“If the building were to fall over there would be great risk and even death if there was someone beside it. It is in very rough condition and is a safety issue,” reads part of the initial complaint to the city.

“I’d like to see it be told that builders can’t just come into a neighbourhood and force their will onto people who have been living there for years on end,” said Whyte, who built the treehouse with a friend years ago. “The kids use it pretty much daily in the summer.”

The family had to file a development permit for the treehouse, nine years after it was actually built.  The development permit was refused in June, in part because the treehouse “is impacting the use and enjoyment of the adjacent parcel.”

“I have absolutely no intention of taking it all down. If it’s a height thing, we’ll make it shorter,” said Rowe.

On Wednesday afternoon, Maurie Loewen, a senior planning technician with the City of Calgary, issued the following statement to CTV regarding the treehouse dispute.

Keep reading on CTV News

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