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HB tree house owners face added violations

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

Two days after Holmes Beach commissioners approved a petition for Richard Hazen and Lyn Tran to pursue public support for a special ordinance to keep a tree house at 103 29th Street on June 11, the city amended its April notice of violation to include more complaints.

The tree house was constructed in 2011 in an Australian pine tree. Tran said she approached then-building official Bob Shaffer and received verbal permission to build the structure.

Holmes Beach code enforcement became involved after a complaint was made and determined the structure violated setbacks and other city rules. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection then noted the tree house was built seaward of the coastal construction line.

The matter was scheduled to go before the code enforcement board June 20, but the hearing was postponed to allow the petition process to move forward.

If Hazen and Tran can garner 10 percent of Holmes Beach registered voters, the commission will be required to vote on a special ordinance to allow the tree house. If the vote fails, the issue would be put to voters in a referendum.

However, the June 13 letter from the city to Hazen and Tran outlines further violations.

A survey of the property conducted April 27, after the original notice of violation, reports that the tree house “and other parts of the property are partially located on the 29th Street public right of way” and, in the platted alley located in block 38 of the Ilexhurst subdivision.

The letter states there is no record of either location having been vacated.

“As a consequence, please be advised that the property … is in violation” of four land development codes. The June 13 notice gives the owners five days to respond.

Building official Tom O’Brien said June 21 that the owners of Angelinos Sea Lodge responded in the given time, however, he said “the code enforcement process will continue and there will likely be another code enforcement hearing scheduled in the future.”

6 Responses to HB tree house owners face added violations

  1. Thompson says:

    Holmes Beach Commissioners should be ashamed of themsleves for purposely pursuing a negative outcome for the Hazen’s in favour of a postivie one for the nameless person who originally reported it. makes you wonder if the annonymous person was one of the commissioners of Holmes Beach!

  2. Steve Parker says:

    I have a condo just down the beach from the treehouse and when i am over from the UK just love to walk up and take a look at it, it is a welcome addition to the beach, i have spent many a morning talking to passers by who are amazed by the quality of construction and workmanship that has gone into it.
    Now as i said i live in the UK for 9 months of the year, and believe me , you don’t want to go down the route that we have over here, permission for this, that, and everything, sometimes to no avail, the locals are miserable and now don’t seem to want, or have, opinions on anything anymore !!
    Anna Maria is an iddilic island, laid back, almost old colonial, so surely there should be some leeway or sympathetic judgement in this case. After all do we really want the Island to be dragged into the 21st Century. Whats next McDonalds accross the street from the Beech house!!

  3. Gary McMullen says:

    Unfortunately the residents of Holmes Beach are going to foot the bill for the arrogance of their commissioners and Building Official Tom O’Brien. O’Brien has thrown every monkey wrench he can including unethically writing the DEP on his own saying that the city doesn’t want the tree house. Now it is the commissioners turn to enforce the Holmes Beach residents wishes and approve the special ordinance. Don’t waste more city funds by necessitating a referendum. Reel in O’Brien commissioners and abide by what you were sworn in to do, the resident’s wishes.

  4. Karen Brewer says:

    Is there a way I can volunteer to sign the petition? I live out here and have the pleasure of looking at this tree house when we go to the beach. I’m also a registered voter. How can I get ahold of Richard or Lynn?

  5. Ben says:

    The over-regulating City Commission is out of control. Their actions are nothing short of disgusting. A complete lack of common sense.

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