Shawnee Chasser, 65, sports long locks of purple hair. She refers herself as a “tree hugger” and a “hippie.” She makes and sells organic popcorn for a living. In her home are two cats, two dogs and two raccoons. Oh, and that home? It’s a treehouse.
For the past 25 years, Chasser has lived in two different treehouses. She’s spent the past 10 years in her current treetop villa in Biscayne Gardens, a neighborhood in North Miami, Fla. And this structure is no pied-à-terre, it’s her sole residence. In fact, she raised her adopted daughter there.
For years, the treehouse — and the colorful land it looks out upon — have been something of a local landmark. Its official Facebook page is titled “Shawnee’s Paradise.” On the grounds, near a handmade waterfall carved out of oolitic limestone, is a chickee house, which, until recently, Chasser rented on Airbnb.
There’s one issue, though, which originally came to light about a year ago and has left her completely broke — she doesn’t have permission from Miami-Dade County for any of it.
Now, Chasser finds herself on the verge of losing the treehouse and the land it’s on.
The county has fined her $3,000 thus far, and she faces a possible additional $7,000 in additional liens, according to the Miami Herald. She can’t rent out the chickee house any longer. Finally, the county ordered a series of renovations to bring her home up to code.
Read more and watch a video at The Washington Post.