MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The city of Minneapolis has ruled that a boy’s treehouse must be taken down.

Thirteen-year-old Daniel Pryke’s treehouse on Emerson Avenue is in violation of city code.

But his dad has appealed the city’s decision, and there will be a public hearing on Thursday.

“I really love it up here,” Daniel said. “I was pretty excited when we finished it.”

Like a lot of 13-year-old boys, Daniel occasionally likes to get away from his parents. But instead of going out, Daniel goes up.

“It’s a great place to read,” he said. “Sometimes I do my homework.”

The treehouse was a dream of Daniel’s, and his dad finally finished it two years ago.

But almost as soon as Daniel got settled in, the complaints started coming in.

“The city started to complain right away. In fact, even before it was finished,” said Daniel’s dad, Clem.

The city said the treehouse violated zoning ordinances.

It’s built too close to the neighbors, who told us it’s just feet from their bedroom window.

The city also told Clem and Daniel that another problem is the height.

The treehouse is 22 feet off the ground. It’s too high, it violates code, and there’s no variance to overturn it.

Still, the Pryke’s have appealed. They started a petition and got signatures from neighbors.

Daniel also wrote a letter, pleading with the city to reconsider.

“I just really like it up here, and I strongly hope that the city decides it does not have to be destroyed,” Daniel said.

He’ll have a chance to make his case Thursday night at a public hearing. Though the Prykes know they’re facing a tall order.

“They’re kind of storybook things. I think it’s kind of sad if it has to go,” Clem said.

Clem and Daniel said they understand that the treehouse is closer to the neighbor’s property line than code allows.

And the neighbors told us that the treehouse essentially hurts their property value because it’s so close.

The Prykes were still hoping for a variance even though that’s unlikely to happen.


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