Elise Truchan, 14, got an ‘exemplary’ mark on her eighth grade project at Quaker Valley Middle School, but officials in the Leet Township of Pennsylvania weren’t as excited about Truchan’s bi-level treehouse.
Truchan’s front-yard treehouse, which was made of untreated wood, features Harry Potter-themed decorations, a clear roof for stargazing, windows, a rope ladder and a lock. She completed the project in February, but on March 25 the family was sent a notice from Leet officials demanding they remove the structure or risk citation.
Inspector Joseph Luff of Building Inspection Underwriters of Pennsylvania said in the notice that treehouses are considered “accessory structures” and not allowed in front yards, although the Truchan family doesn’t have a back yard. Jonathan and Vicki Truchan, Elise’s parents, worked with the city and got the deadline extended to Oct. 1. The complaint about the treehouse was apparently made by another resident, but the family doesn’t know who.
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Truchan was upset about the decision. “At first, I thought it was a joke, but then I found out that it wasn’t,” Elise says. “So, then I got really sad.”
The family said many of their neighbors supported the project and watched the treehouse get built. “It's not like it just occurred,” Vicki Truchan said.
Truchan plans on enjoying the treehouse as much as possible.