Long Island Boy’s Birthday Gift Treehouse Leads to Court Fight - NBC New York

Long Island Boy’s Birthday Gift Treehouse Leads to Court Fight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Long Island Family Battles to Save Tree House

    A Long Island father built a tree house for his son's birthday, but his town now says he has to get a permit or tear it down. Gus Rosendale reports.

    (Published Monday, Nov. 12, 2018)

    What to Know

    • A child’s birthday gift out on Long Island has turned into a court fight for his dad

    • John Lepper built a treehouse for his son as a birthday gift; He says he filed all the appropriate paperwork

    • However, Babylon officials sent letters to Lepper saying the structure is violating building codes; Lepper is taking his fight to court

    A child’s birthday gift out on Long Island has turned into a court fight for his dad.

    John Lepper is a New York City firefighter who went to contractor and drafting school. It was there that he picked up the skills that ultimately helped him create a treehouse as a gift for his son’s birthday.

    However, Lepper found himself in hot water.

    The Village of Babylon sent letters to Lepper stating that he doesn’t have the right permit and is in violation of the local building code.

    Lepper disagrees, saying he did file the necessary paperwork and the treehouse was built within the law.

    He is now taking the fight to court in hopes that his son’s treehouse won’t have to be dismantled and brought down.

    “The whole neighborhood is in support of the treehouse,” he said.

    According to Lepper, there is another reason why he hopes the treehouse stays pirched, overlooking his backyard. Lepper says he recently found a needle in the bushes next to his home. He thinks the lights installed on the treehouse could deter crime on an otherwise dark street.

    “This is what they want to waste taxpayer dollars on: treehouses. Not heroin needles. But, treehouses,” he says.

    Lepper is set to take his fight to the state appeals court in the coming days.

    Babylon officials couldn’t be reached Monday due to the Veteran’s Day holiday.

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