- 72-year-old Shawnee Chaser decided to comply with Miami-Dade County and demolish her home
- Within eight years, she had earned $40,000 for the “unsafe” build.
- She will build a new tree house because she cannot live indoors due to claustrophobia and the need to hear the elements
A Florida grandmother has been forced to demolish her Miami treehouse, which she has lived in for 17 years, after collecting $40,000 in fines over the past eight years for “unsafe” construction.
Since 2015, Shawnee Chaser, 72, has asked neighbors to report her property to Miami-Dade County and the Building Code Enforcement Department.
Once code enforcers discovered her treehouse wasn’t safe to live in, they gave her two options: remove it or bring it up to code.
She has decided to stop fighting and will begin the process of demolishing her home on September 18, but living inside is not an option for Chasser.
Staying outdoors, Chasser will build her next home up to code and with the proper permits.
Grandma has always lived outdoors and told 7Miami News: ‘I must hear the rain and wind at night. If I don’t, I’m going crazy, claustrophobic.
She bought the property for her son nearly 20 years ago, but after his death she decided to move.
Recently, she has been living under the weather with her two grandchildren, in what she calls her “oasis”.
She also shares her outdoor home with her pet raccoon named Connie.
Adding new additions to her treehouse over the years, she moved her bedroom up the tree, with a kitchen and living room on the floor, a pool with a water fountain, and a new bedroom she built inside a tiki hut.
The new living room and kitchen became a haven not only for her, but for her children and grandchildren.
Stalker said Local news 10: ‘I’ve got everything I could possibly need.’
According to the GoFundMe Created by herself, Chaser was fined $11,320 plus an additional $11,481.50 in fees in one day for violating Chapter 33 of the Florida Zoning Code and “unpermitted use within a single-family residential district.”
She also stated that even after she moved out of the designated “unsfae” structure, more fines arrived as the state tried to get her to move again.
After years of fighting, Chaser is ready to tear down her home and find a sense of peace.
“Now I’m trying to clear it.” “I’m tired of not having my own life,” Chaser told Local10 News.
To demolish her current outhouse in Biscayne Gardens, Chaser will have to pay an additional $30,000 on top of other expenses she has already incurred, according to CBS News Miami.
On her GoFundMe page, she breaks down all the money she’s spent on her oasis so far.
‘Contractor $2,000, Architect $2,500, Attorney $2,500, Seminole Race Certificate $800, repairs and empty kitchen. [sic] Down $10,000, new home structure $5,000, to let empty [sic] Underneath the old tree house.’
In order to afford the mortgage and utility bills, Chaser rents her home to more than five tenants.
Miami-Dade County told CBS News Miami they have taken no action and are working to update and modernize their property.
So far, her fundraising page has raised a total of $1,205 in donations to help her “comply with the law, save her home, and continue to feed and raise her two grandchildren.”
Her donation goal is set at $50,000 which will be used to pay off her accumulated fines and help her defray the cost of her next exoskeleton.
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”