Uploaded by ReasonTV
December 22, 2011

It was supposed to be a “slice of Americana and of childhood dreams,” says U.S. Army Specialist Mark Grapin, who lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. He’s talking about the treehouse he built for his two sons after returning from his latest tour of duty in Iraq.

What Grapin didn’t expect was that Fairfax County’s zoning board would demand he tear down the treehouse after an anonymous complaint, thus launching the family into an eight-month legal battle.

Grapin went to the local media for help and public outcry turned into an online petition. A neighbor donated trees to cover the treehouse, and the family even received a pro bono lawyer to help win over board members.

Just days before the treehouse was to be torn down, Grapin was able to convince the board to let him keep it on the condition it be removed after five years. Plenty of time, he says, for his sons to enjoy it.

About 2 minutes.
 Produced by Joshua Swain.

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