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‘I miss it all’: NW Miami-Dade woman looks back on treehouse she called home for 17 years – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports


NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida homeowner reflected on the treehouse that, she said, was her oasis for nearly two decades and spurred a legal showdown that led to the structure being taken down.

Longtime Northwest Miami-Dade resident Shawnee Chasser spoke with 7News on Saturday about the now completed dismantling of her home.

“Well, it’s been a big demolition, and I don’t even like looking at it,” she said. “It’s sad.”

It has been a difficult week for Chasser, as she said goodbye to her way of life for the past 17 years.

“I feel like a bird in a cage when I’m in a house. It just doesn’t work for me,” she said, “but I’m thinking that a lot of people have told me that there’s going to be an outside structure. I’m just praying for that day”

The final pieces of the treehouse Chasser called home have finally been dismantled.

“I tried to not be here. Yeah, because, you know, it’s my bedroom, and I love it,” she said.

A complaint filed with Miami-Dade County sparked the discovery of the illegal living space on her property off Northwest 135th Street.

The battle that followed spanned years. Buried by fines totaling tens of thousands of dollars, Chasser ultimately threw in the towel

“It’s a rope around your neck. I just want to be free of it,” she said.

Four walls and a door now separate her from the natural oasis that is her front yard.

“It makes me come alive to hear the rain, to see the rain, to hear the frogs” she said. “I missed two rains since I’ve been indoors. Yeah, I miss it all.”

However, she’ll get to relax under a new treehouse built to code and approved by county inspectors in the not-too-distant future.

“We can all live simpler,” she said.

With the non-compliant structures gone, the process of planning for a new outdoor space for Chasser begins.

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