Regulation

How to Save a Tree House From a Zoning Board

Veterans and their sons take on local bureaucracy.

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The Swiss Family Robinson, shipwrecked builders of what may be history's most famous tree house, were lucky their arbor of choice was on an uninhabited island. Had pirates chased the Robinsons ashore in Northern Virginia, a massive structure like the one immortalized in the 1960 Technicolor classic and later transformed into a Disney theme park attraction surely would have attracted unwanted attention from the local zoning board. 

When Spc. Mark Grapin returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Army National Guard in 2011, he promised his sons—Sean, 9, and Eric, 11—that he would build them a tree house before he shipped out again. Grapin told reason.tv he drew and redrew plans for the tree house "a hundred, if not a thousand, times." 

Grapin, who lives in Fairfax County, outside Washington, D.C., called the county and asked about any building codes that might apply. "The guy kind of laughed me off the phone," he says. 

So Grapin got to work, spending dozens of hours and $1,400 on materials. The result: some pretty swank kiddie digs. No running water or thatched roof like the Swiss Family's island getaway, but 52 square feet covered with a nice coat of red paint and trimmed with orange shutters. The hideaway, built around the only large tree on Grapin's property, was supposed to be a "slice of Americana and of childhood dreams," he says. 

Little did Grapin know that a second set of bureaucrats, the Fairfax County zoning board, should have been consulted before construction began. Because his one-story home is situated on a corner lot, Grapin's back yard is technically classified as a front yard. In Fairfax County, that means he needed a variance from local zoning rules to build the tree house.

An anonymous complaint from a neighbor triggered a county investigation into the unapproved structure, and in September the Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-3 to deny Grapin the variance. The tree house was then slated for the wrecking ball. With time running out before the veteran would be sent back into the field, he went to the local media for help, triggering outrage nationwide. 

Portland, Oregon, Army Sgt. Cameron Dunbar-Yamaguchi launched a petition at Change.org, a site that allows users to create and circulate online pleas, and the initiative quickly picked up 1,600 signatures, 600 of them from Fairfax County. Hundreds of people emailed the zoning board to support the scofflaw builder. 

The eight-month administrative battle ended up costing the Grapins more than the tree house itself—at least $2,000, Grapin says, not including pro bono legal assistance the family received to help prepare a 50-page application for the zoning variance. 

Permits, it turns out, don't come cheap. "I paid $885 for a special permit to build the tree house," Grapin told Fox News in October. "There were additional fees of $975 to have the plats for the property redrawn to reflect the tree house, and then I had to pay mail fees to notify the neighbors of hearings so they could voice any concerns they might have about the tree house."

When members of the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals reconvened in November, they voted unanimously to grant the tree house a five-year stay of execution—plenty of time for Grapin's sons to enjoy it. The decision came just before Grapin headed back to Iraq. He can now take comfort that his sons have a fun and safe place to play.

Grapin isn't the only service member to recently run afoul of Fairfax County's zoning code. Phillip Blevins, an Air Force officer and father of two, was hit with a similar tree house citation while deployed in Afghanistan in 2010. As in Grapin's case, an anonymous complaint set the review process in motion—likely a neighbor who was annoyed by the obstructed view or noisy kids. 

The Blevins family can no longer appeal to the newly chastened zoning board, however; their case moved to the Fairfax Circuit Court after administrative remedies failed. The family received a summons on December 30, 2011, demanding that the tree house—which is more than seven feet off the ground and deemed too close to the edge of their property —be moved or torn down within 21 days. The structure took two years to build, and each of its four corners is anchored to a live tree.

It's enough to make a handy dad and his disappointed sons wish for a desert island. 

Joshua Swain is a producer at reason.tv. Katherine Mangu-Ward is managing editor of reason. For video about this story, go to reason.tv.

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  1. Didn’t have zoning.

    “Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign. They generate their own subsistence with litde or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders. Nor are they routinely exploited by outsiders.”

    Elman R. Service (1975), Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. New York: Norton.
    NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
    http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper…..ieties.pdf

    1. Bands and Tribes Didn’t [sic] have zoning.

      FAIL

      The Songlines of Dreamtime are just one example of how hunter/gathering tribes “zoned”. Certain places were always considered “taboo” and unable to be used.

      1. Singing songs = Zoning?

        The stupid is strong with Fibertarianism.

        1. All you’ve proven is that your pea-brain can’t comprehend the fact that pre-literate cultures have different ways of recording and encoding information.

          1. You equated songs and ghost stories around a camp fire with big government zoning, pea-brain.

            1. I thought WI was the one who thought those sorts of things were important. So is this the real WI or a fake WI?

              1. one who thought those sorts of things

                Cite?

            2. You equated songs and ghost stories around a camp fire with big government zoning, pea-brain.

              For an anarcho-primitivist, you are very dismissive of how actual primitive societies record and transmit the rules and mores of their culture.

              You claimed that “bands and tribes didn’t have zoning.” I gave one example out of many to prove that your assertion is false. You, predictably, cannot deal with the cognitive dissonance, so you can only respond with insults and equivication.

              Face it, you lost. Intellectual Checkmate. This thread has forever proven that you have absolutely no authority for you have no understanding about the concepts you use for your arguments.

              By all means, continue to bray like an ass; however, know that you have been exposed as a fool and a fraud.

              1. Zoning enforcement, to protect privation property values, is a function solely of the agricultural city-State.

                Your conflation between big-government zoning and traditional society is sophomoric. But then you’re a Fibertarian.

                1. Zoning enforcement, to protect privation property values, is a function solely of the agricultural city-State.

                  Nope. That’s not what you originally argued. You’re the one who is fibbing. Your sophomoric tantrums are only digging a deeper hole in which I shall bury you.

                2. …preaching his primitivist sermons.

                  1. Primitivist sermons. On the internet. No irony (or hypocricy) there.

    2. So, they’re free to gambol about their treehouses.

      Cool story, bro

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    4. B&T notes tribal non-zoning while calling the EnviroKops to report a crime against the tree. HaHaHa.

  2. What makes bureaucrats so heartless and stupid? Parents? Growing up poor? Public school?

    1. It’s just because Mass Society doesn’t work will with humans, because the brain’s neocortex size is a constraint on group size in primates, aka, Dunbar’s Number.

      Dunbar, R.I.M. (June 1992). “Neocortex size as a constraint on group size in primates”. Journal of Human Evolution 22 (6): 469?493.

      Thesis #11: Hierarchy is an unnecessary evil.
      by Jason Godesky | 21 October 2005
      http://rewild.info/anthropik/2…..sary-evil/

    2. More importantly, what enables heartless and stupid people to become bureaucrats?

      1. I believe you’ll find your answer in White Indian.

        1. Seek out and find my drupalcon photo. You will feel elevated.

    3. I think that a lot of people that become bureaucrats are born martinets. They love rules, and will follow them exactly no matter the situation. They see the world, or at least the world that comprises their work, in pure black-and-white.

      Many question has always been: “Why are so many bureaucrats so dull, lazy, and downright mean?” Is bland authority really that much of an aphrodisiac?

    4. Bureaucrats behave in a heartless and stupid manner because they have found out that the people that they push around have a libertarian non-violent (won’t fight back) character.

  3. Thank heavens the zoning board stepped in to keep the county from turning into a Somalia of renegade tree houses!

  4. My next door neighbor came up to me while I was doing yard work yesterday and we started chatting. He told me he got a $40 for blocking the sidewalk with his truck, which was parked in his driveway. He protested it but the judge said nope that’s the law.

    Turns out, in Houston, you can’t block the sidewalk for any reason. He said it pissed him off to no end, because everyone blocks the sidewalk all the time in our neighborhood. He told me he tries not to count the cars doing it on a daily basis because it’s seriously dozens. So someone must’ve called and complained about him in particular, lord knows why.

    The reason he parked in the driveway was because he didn’t want to block the garbage truck. Since, if it’s too much of a pain to maneuver around cars on the street, they just don’t pick up your trash. And don’t even think about parking the wrong direction on the street. That’s a $270 fine. I thought the whole point of driveways was to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles?

    We have three cars, but luckily two are small enough that we can park them together and still not block the sidewalk. But I guess visitors could be ticketed at any time for the crime of parking in our driveway. Anyway, whew, had to vent about another stupid local law. Basically just a free money grab whenever they feel like it, or a way to harass a neighbor if you want, just like whoever called to complain about this treehouse.

    1. Yeah, when we had the roof replaced on our old house, we decided to try just pretending we didn’t need a permit (cause, really, Jason Godesky says we don’t, and I have to agree).

      Nope – you guessed it – some busybody fuck neighbor called. Which we figured would happen, but nothing ventured, etc. So we got delayed a day, the builder got the permit, we finished the roof, no big deal.

      Tell me again why I need a PERMIT to have work done on my own home that’s just replacing something that’s already there and does not infringe on my neighbors in any way?

      Oh, right – GAMBOL LOCKDOWN!!!11!!!

      1. Is shelter a human right of life?

      2. Nope – you guessed it – some busybody fuck neighbor called.

        Are you fucking kidding me?

        Someone had nothing better to do than make sure that you had a fucking permit to fix your own goddamn roof?

        I have a solution. Picture a “Strangers on a train” situation.

        1. True story. And no, no they apparently didn’t have anything better to do.

          If I’d have found out who it was I’d have burned down their fucking house, but, alas…

          1. We can find him. We’ll set up cameras pointed at everyone’s house, and then we’ll start building a shed or some bullshit. Review tapes.

            Fuck, maybe the world is right. I am a cold-hearted bastard.

            1. In Soviet Russia, tapes review YOU!

            2. Take a lesson from investigator maddox.

          2. If I’d have found out who it was I’d have burned down their fucking house

            Isn’t there an ordinance against that?

          3. I’d have burned down their fucking house

            You’ll need to get a permit for that.

        2. Someone had nothing better to do than make sure that you had a fucking permit to fix your own goddamn roof?

          Shit like that almost makes me wonder if some local governments have a network of informants and snitches who, for a cut of the fine, sell out their neighbors.

          I’ve seen people blocking the sidewalk from time to time in my neighborhood while walking my dog. I go around the end of their car and continue on my way. Sure it’s mildly annoying, but at no point do I wonder if I should report them to my HOA or any other authority. Same can be said for neighbors getting work done on their house. At no point do I wonder if they have a permit or not.

          Minding your own fucking business: how does it work?

          1. The only time I’ve ever gotten law enforcement involved was when the neighbors were having a party at 2 am on a work day and the bass of the music they were playing resonated throughout my house and I couldn’t fall asleep. And this was after I politely asked them to just turn the BASS down, not even the music.

          2. They will just pick out the ones they don’t like to blame anyway. The screeching harridan next door started pounding on our front door one day with her canned ham fists, demanding to know if we had ratted her out. Someone had called the police because they had parked 5 or 6 cars in their lawn hosting a multi-family hillbilly hoe-down garage sale, and you can’t park a car on your lawn inside the city limits. Despite our assurances that we don’t care about cars on her lawn, she still thinks it was us to this day.

            1. If you’re going to do the time, you might as well do the crime.

              Next time you get the chance, rat her out.

              1. Nah. I wouldn’t call the cops on her, but then I also won’t call the cops for her when 50 years of Mountain Dew and Moon Pies catch up with her.

          3. I don’t mind treading over a lawn, cute landscaping, yard decorations, or whatever if I have to get around some bullshit. My mountain bike wheels easily negotiate shit like those little fences and flower beds.

          4. I’m sorry, but you need to fill out Form 24580, in triplicate, get it notarized, bring it back here and submit it with your permit application if you would like to “mind your own fucking business”.

            Next!

          5. Wait until you’re old and need a walker or a wheelchair and have to go around some jackass blocking the sidewalk then come back and post. Not everyone is as healthy and spry as you are.

            1. Yes, your 30 second inconvenience is worth a fine worth several hours at my hourly wage.

              Fuck off, prick

        3. I got home from work one day and decided to wait for my buddy in my car, where it was warm, rather than go into my house right then, where was cold. He said he’d be there in twenty.

          Somebody CALLED THE FUCKING COPS because they were “worried that I’d passed out in my vehicle.” The cop almost gave me a breathalyzer, too.

          I’ve only even spoken to like two of my neighbors, and I’m sure it wasn’t either of them. I’m equally sure it was one of the literally dozens of old bags on the street with an eye permanently pointed out of her front window.

          I now have a “get the fuck away from me” policy regarding most of my neighbors.

      3. I can relate. Same thing happened when tearing down and rebuilding a fence when it turns out it’s restricted to just 3ft high… (wtf is that good for), and was city ordinace for like, half a century, probably originating from the era of white-picket fences where no one wanting their neighbor to seem like a fortress or something. And some nosy busy-body complained to the city inspector. And absolutely everyone in our block and the next have theirs significantly higher.

        Seriously, I have to wonder what motivates these people.

    2. Blocking sidewalks is a very serious safety violation. What if some paraplegic in their wheelchair was trying to go down the sidewalk, they had to go into the street to get around your dumbass neighbors car and was hit by another car? What if that person was your child or mother or grandmother? Then how would you feel about such a “stupid” law? It sounds to me like you and your friend are very self centered and don’t care about the welfare of others or being good neighbors.

      1. If I ever see you in a wheelchair, I will do my best to run you over.

        1. Seconded! I did not make you disabled and cannot make you healthy, I should not be told what I can and cannot do with my own property because you got a bad hand dealt to you.

          1. You don’t own the sidewalk.

            1. Neither do you. If you can’t go around, turn the fuck around. Or go back one driveway and pop into the street. Jesus fucking christ.

  5. An anonymous complaint from a neighbor

    Don’t you see? That treehouse was destroying Proppity Valyoooos!

      1. Anal is good! I prefer to catch!

        1. Agricultural Civilization (City-Statism) is the reason you’re unhappy. Your silly political ideas won’t help. Why?

          Agriculture creates government. ~Richard Manning, Against the Grain, p.73

          1. Still cited. Still irrelevant.

      2. Em, no.

        None of this would be issues (and disputes much more clearly and easily resolvable) if we actually had truly private property.

  6. I thought the whole point of driveways was to keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles?

    I thought the whole point of sidewalks was to provide pedestrians a safe (ie., non-street) path for walking.

    1. And yet those assholes still jog in the road.

      Yeah, I’m mildly annoyed at people that simply MUST run in the middle of the damned road.

      1. If you don’t like the way I’m driving, get off the sidewalk

    2. This was my thought. As stupid laws go, Im not sure “no parking on the sidewalk” fits.

      I would like one requiring at least 2 wheels (and preferrably all 4) be on the grass if parking on the street.

      If I had an HOA, I would suggest it as a rule, but, yeah, I will deal with street parkers and prefer to not have an HOA.

      1. We have curbs, so getting into the grass would be a challenge. Also, parking in the grass is also illegal.

        1. I realize that in many cases the law goes entirely against my proposal. That isnt my problem.

          I grew up in a neighborhood without sidewalks or curbs and live in a neighborhood without sidewalks or curbs. In both cases, one person parking fully on the street isnt a problem, but multiple doing it can cause problems. Literally, if two cars park across from each other on my street, the road is blocked. A motorcycle could get thru, but that is it.

          If people would put two wheels in the grass, the road would be open even with directly across from each other parking.

      2. No it doesn’t fit at all. And I’ll tell you what else: There is nothing particularly wrong with a neighbor complaining about a tree house blocking his view or creating inordinate kid noise. The latter of course isn’t going to get him very far because the little shits are sacrosanct but the former should not even be dismissed out of hand.

        1. The latter of course isn’t going to get him very far because the little shits are sacrosanct but the former should not even be dismissed out of hand.

          You can be right about this; beach properties often are sold with a “maximum height” clause so that other property owners can still see the ocean.

          If the property was not sold with such a clause though, I disagree; it’s my property, get off my lawn, etc.

          1. Yep. You buy the property bordering mine, youz takz youz chances.

            1. TO PROTECT OUR PROPERTY VALUE RIGHTS.

              1. WANTS TO TRASH PROPERTY VALUES

                1. DERP HURR DURR HURR YEAAH! WHAT HE SAID WOOOOOOO!!

                2. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! THE FIRE!!! IT BURNS!!!

        2. Does my title say I can not block your view? No? Then shut the fuck up.

          1. I didn’t really remark on who should win. We have courts to decide that. I suppose it could always be decided by a gunfight or something if you prefer.

        3. “inordinate kid noise”

          _____________

          Fuck those little shits for laughing and yelling while playing! Who do they think they are, anyway?

          1. Had I only waited for your reply I could have saved writing the “sacrosanct” bit.

        4. There is nothing particularly wrong with a neighbor complaining about a tree house blocking his view or creating inordinate kid noise.

          Complaining to agents of the state in hopes they will initiate force, well, no.

          1. Exactly. You want to complain to me, fine? But getting the city involved? Screw you.

            Your view is probably not included in your deed.

            1. This. And waiting until it’s finished to complain rather than say something while the construction is going on, so the guy could maybe stop building it and not waste all that time and money? Double fuck you.

        5. So I guess my neighbor just has to park in the street and not get trash pickup, or sell one of his cars then, eh?

          1. That or clean out his garage, or rent parking space somewhere, or…get the law changed.

            1. I’m looking into that last one.

              1. Of course, this is a Houston city law, so it’s probably a Sisyphean task.

    3. The only way they could be safe is if they had elevated walkways over each driveway, since there’s always the risk of a crazy homeowner barreling into their driveway just as you’re crossing it.

    4. I thought that people have no right to the sidewalk (or street) existing in the first place. Oh yeah, I though that because it turns out I am right about that.

    5. Oh, and by the way, our house is situated in our lot such that we could easily fit four cars in our driveway, possibly really really small ones if we packed em in. There are many houses that have short driveways wherein all cars parked in those driveways will block the sidewalk. So I guess those people just don’t get to use their driveways. Wtf I expect better from you people.

      1. possibly six really really small ones if we packed em in

        Fixed

      2. There are many houses that have short driveways wherein all cars parked in those driveways will block the sidewalk.

        They shouldnt have built the house so damn close to the street.

        1. It’s a fucking driveway NOT not a parkway.

        2. Now the fun starts: I know at least one person whose driveway is so short because they lost eight feet of depth to eminent domain.

    6. The sidewalk’s, like, 5 feet wide – plenty of space to move around obstacles on. And even if something is blocking the *whole* sidewalk, there’s still that little slice of ground that’s in front of your part of the sidewalk to walk on. Plenty of space before you even end up in the road, a road wide enough for cars to park along at least one side and still allow traffic through.

      1. What about people in wheelchairs or with walkers or some guy who had his legs blown off in Iraq? Just fuck them. Stupid gimps shouldn’t leave the house, right?

  7. This is the kind of hard-hitting expose that I have come to expect from Reason.

    1. It’s part of their government for me, but not for thee ideology.

      They want the artificial borders created by governments to regulate the free movement of free people and prevent them from hunting and gathering a free lunch.

      But they don’t want to accept that such regulation has further consequences on their actions.

      It’s the contradiction of Libertarianism that they have such difficulty facing.

      1. yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn

      2. Yawn. Yaaaaaawn.

        Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn

      3. I’m ignoring you.

        Starting right now. I mean it.

      4. You’re really comparing national sovereignty and borders to a tree house in a guy’s yard?

      5. Uh, no – libertarians are generally for the free movement of people across borders. I think you have us confused with, oh, just about every other group.

        Moron.

        1. But didn’t you know? Wanting the government to protect ALL people’s rights means we are tools of the state. Or something.

  8. An anonymous complaint from a neighbor triggered a county investigation

    This would be a great job for Anonymous… someone needs to get into the county’s stuff and name and shame the asshole.

    1. No, see, Anonymouse MADE THE COMPLAINT….

      *giggles*

    2. Or there is no anonymous neighbor as I propose below. Just busybody assholes in government.

  9. Your story has grown tiresome

  10. I was building a treehouse, and I’d have succeeded, too…

    …if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids…

    1. Nice.

  11. you know who else was a White Indian?

    1. Ben Kingsley?

    2. a source of endless fear and loathing?

    3. Burt Lancaster?

    4. Kevin Costner?

      Sam Worthington?

    5. Val Kilmer.

    6. Dustin Hoffman?

  12. This stupid shit always starts with an alleged anonymous tip from and alleged neighbor. I’d wager good money in many cases some human debris pile of a state employee drives by, sees the treehouse and thinks, hey, there’s someone new to fuck with.

    I know people who have had jobs in those sorts of regulatory areas. They had to leave because they couldn’t take the scum that worked there that literally got off on messing with people’s lives. I saw similar stuff when I worked on a couple state level campaigns- most of the political geeks who gravitate to these jobs love to tinker with the lives of other people. We have a government of complete sociopaths from top to bottom.

    1. You hit the nail on the head.

    2. The BTK killer was employed as a compliance officer. And yes, he got off on measuring the heights of people’s lawns– or having some cute chick’s dog killed because he didn’t like the guy she was seen going out with.

  13. Oh for fuck sake isn’t their any way to drop an IP banhammer on this numbskull. Never has a troll on this board gotten so tiresome.

    1. …preaching his primitivist sermons.

      Evangelize away, oh great Pale Injun!

    2. Really. Even Tony isn’t THAT batcrap crazy.

    3. The enablers are almost as much to blame.

      Start the Big Ignore.

      1. Serious question, would ignoring it include not commenting tangentally? By this I mean responding to someone who talks about it?

  14. There is nothing particularly wrong with a neighbor complaining about a tree house blocking his view

    If you let the bastard get away with putting up a tree house, before you know it, he’ll have a rendering plant in his yard!

  15. Libertarians need to remain vigilant about changes to local zoning laws. Any proposal that further restricts what a property owner can do is, in reality, a “taking” and, under eminent domain laws, the owner must be given fair compensation for the public taking. You might be surprised how quickly the Zoning Board will give up the effort when someone at the open hearing says they will take the local municipality to court if the zoning change passes and compensation is not offered.

  16. I live in a rural area. The property I purchased was subdivided into my lot and a seperate wooded lot that was retained by the previous owner of my home. The previous owner built a new home across the street on land owned by his father.

    I am currently involved in a lawsuit with former owner/current neighbor because of fraud committed in the sale of the property. Without getting into too much detail, the home was sold with a faulty septic leach field and I have solid evidence that he concealed that fact and he lied on the Sellers Disclosure Statement. For the sake of argument, let’s say I’m in the right on this issue.

    The wooded lot shares a boarder with another neighbor. This past summer, my two neighbors decided to share ownership of 3 pigs. Dispite the former owner/neighbor owning 10 acres across the street and his sister owning an adjacent 50+ acres on which she raises cows, they decided to raise these pigs on the wooded lot, the pen being not more than 100 feet from my living room couch. Needless to say, the smell is not pleasant when the wind blows in the right direction.

    It seems that the pigs met their demise for Christmas. Unfortunately, none of the neighbors chocked on it. The pig pen remains in its location.

    My question to you fine people: When a new batch of pigs are put in the pen, should I poison the pigs with antifreeze or just shoot them? I fear that the pigs would easily pass the antifreeze. Also, should I consider including the neighbors in this retaliation?

    1. Do you have a well? If so, its entirely possible that they aren’t allowed to raise pigs within X feet of your well.

      Something to look into.

      1. I have read my municipality’s code book. There are some set-back restrictions when raising a certain number of animals. The three pigs do not meet the criteria. there is also no minimum lot size specified for the raising of farm animals, as I have learned is the case in many municipalities. I have found nothing concerning the proximity of water wells.

        Thanks for the response.

        1. .45 ACP will do the job, but 30-06 (.308 if that’s your bag) to be sure

          “Now…ain’t THAT a damn shame! Who’d go killin’ pigs like that? Now, a smart person would get those pigs over yonder field where they’d be safer…”

          Jes sayin’

          1. if they’re well and truly domesticated a .22 will work fine. Pigs have a soft spot in the skull. It’s how all the old country people in my family do it.
            Nice and quiet too.

        2. It seems there is a more coasean solution. Pay him to put the pigs on his other property.

          It shouldnt cost much. Its free money from his pov.

          1. Then again, hard to work out a coasean bargain with someone you are otherwise sueing.

    2. It sounds like you’re a whiny bitch who can’t deal with the risks you accept when owning property. What do the pigs have to do with the septic tank?

      1. Colonel – you’ dmake a great neighbor. Perhaps it’s because of assholes like you that we have asinine zoning laws.

        The pigs are for no other reason than retaliation for the lawsuit. I just paid 30K for a new leach field because there was shit on the ground, no I have pigs shitting on the ground.

        I’m I a whiny bitch because I’m suing because of his fraud, or because of the pigs?

    3. If the smell is bothering you in your living room, close the window. If your living room doesn’t have a window, get a living room that is not a porch and put your couch indoors.

    4. If you can infect the pigs with some nasty virus, then you can get the health board to do the heavy lifting for you.

      1. He’s going to give them aids?

  17. Is it bad that I hope that anonymous complainer meets with a terrible end? What a slimeball.

    1. Perhpas she will meet a terrible middle as well.

  18. Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their sons take on local bureaucracy.”
    This is a ready made story for Fox News…..OMG a veteran being screwed! Why should Reason start out the story with that information? It is superfluous. Only the dickwads who live in a dumpster are against zoning regulations.

    1. Only the dickwads who live in a dumpster are against zoning regulations.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA….oh, you’re serious? That’s even FUNNIER!

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      1. Ossifer, is I not free 2 gambol around the dumpster? Regalations? We dooesnt need to regalations!

        [PRIVATE] dumpsterssz aret teh rootsd of ALL [E]VUL! Lol!

  19. An anonymous complaint from a neighbor

    Goddamned weasel. If he has a problem with the treehouse, he should have to bear the cost of litigating a nuisance complaint himself, and have it thrown out of court with a writ of “get a life, you douche.”

    -jcr

  20. As I pointed out when this video was originally posted back in December, Mr. Grapin is a Chief Warrant Officer 5 (W-5), not a Specialist (E-4). You have demoted the man by ten ranks.

  21. Dude knows he is like totally rocking it, in like every single way. Wow.

    http://www.Totally-Private.tk

  22. Sit in front of the tree house with your shotgun. When they come to tear it down, shoot them for trespassing. The law they’re violating trumps the law you’re violating.

  23. If you’re concerned about tree houses, there is an amazing one at an art space in New Orleans (called, unsurprisingly, “The Tree House”).

    It’s a massive structure composed of children’s playground components with spiral staircases, multiples levels, a slide, and a 40 ft rope bridge to an adjoining treehouse platform across the yard.

    Best. Treehouse. Ever.

  24. The guy put a big ass tree house in his FRONT yard. This is not a good case to defend property rights with.

    1. In the front yard? My god that’s almost as bad as building an actual house in a yard. Lord knows this treehouse obstructed the suburban view of the next full size house over.

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  26. Liberalism isn’t killing our society… it’s overzealous lawyers and anal-retentive bureaucrats (not to mention snippy neighbors paranoid about their property values) that are telling our kids they can’t build a treehouse. Or (the other frequently highlighted travesty) sell lemonade without a city permit.

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