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Family loses battle to save pirate treehouse
[url=""][Image: Vcrpiratetreehouse.jpg]

[Image: thecanadianpress_story.jpg]
Court orders Vancouver family to tear down elaborate tree house

VANCOUVER - Everyone but the neighbour loved an elaborate pirate ship-shaped tree house Andrew Dewberry built for his kids in his front yard. Even a provincial court judge admired the workmanship of the fabulous fort, but the judge still ordered the child's dream home removed Friday following a two-year dispute with the neighbour and the city of Vancouver.

The tree house built by Dewberry, an architect, sits two metres up a large, leafy tree in front of the family's home in the tony Kerrisdale neighbourhood of Vancouver. It comes complete with plastic cannons sticking out the ship's side. But Judge Conni Bagnall said in her ruling Friday that the merits of the tree fort were irrelevant to the charge that it was in violation of city bylaws. She found Dewberry and his wife, Jayne Seagrave, guilty of failing to comply with the city's order to remove the tree house.

"It was deliberate and purposeful," Bagnall said.

The couple was fined $250 dollars each for breaking city bylaws and has 90 days to remove the structure. Seagrave said everyone was cheering for them and even the court sheriff expressed disappointment that the fort had to come down.

Dewberry said he phoned city hall before putting up the $2,000 fort and was told by a staff member there wasn't a need for a permit. It was a 2006 complaint from the neighbour, who said the tree house offered an inappropriate view in their windows, that set city hall in motion.

City officials first demanded the couple get a permit but when Dewberry applied, he was refused. Instead, he got an order from the city to remove the tree house.

The family's constitutional argument to keep the fort didn't hold up in court, even though the judge commended Dewberry's fatherly efforts.
"I highlight again how utterly committed to your children I know you are, but you made a choice that I cannot help but comment is not a good example to your sons," Bagnall said.

Dewberry said his sons Jack, 9, and Sam, 7, will be disappointed to lose their play house.

"One thing they have not managed to do is actually have a sleep out in it, which I think is a traditional thing. Hopefully we'll get that in within the next 90 days," the dejected dad said outside court.

The couple plans to dismantle the fort and then auction it off, with the proceeds going to charity. Many people have already offered to buy the fort, and others have asked Dewberry for a copy of the plans.

While the entire fight has been a stressful for them, Seagrave said she hopes it's an education for other parents in Vancouver.
"If it's too close to the parameters, it's going to be classed as an accessory building and you're going to have to put in the $323 for a permit for that building," she said.

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[Image: b?P=k5yQU2KIK3_ySOPaRPzvnQJGmgXX8UiIuigA...3dDB2A8862]
Ooops, I crapped my pants
awww that stinks. can you imagine having that as a kid it would be a dream come true. you let your imagination go and have fun with life. too bad it had to come down. some people just like to see others not have a good time. I would move and take my ship with me.
Dude, I want some of what your smoking:cool: LOL
I hope they fired off a few rounds through the neighbour's windows before they dismantled the tree fort!
Ooops, I crapped my pants

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