Iconic 'Boney Island' treehouse faces teardown

The tree house has been featured on international TV shows and was the centerpiece of the Boney Island Halloween displays.

But now, the city is after the treehouse, demanding its owner Rick Polizzi to tear it down.

Wanting to preserve what has become not only part of his family’s history, but also the neighborhood’s, Polizzi spent $40,000 on a variance that should have made the process easier.

But still, the city is still treating the structure like an ADU, demanding everything from soil samples, to building code permits – as if it were another house on the property.

It isn’t, Polizzi argues. He says it is a play structure. He says he is willing to make it as secure as the city needs a treehouse to be but can’t see the logic of treating it like a home – when it is not.

Neighbors we spoke to agree, as have supporters from all over who are signing a petition trying to save the structure.

Many of those signing the petition shared memories that go back years. Some event returned to the treehouse as adults for marriage proposals.

"I understand all  efforts to make it safe" says Polizzi, who had a contractor build and later reinforce the treehouse.

At this point, the city has filed a criminal misdemeanor case against him, with a court date in June.

We reached out to the city's planning, building and safety departments, even the local Councilperson's office. So far, no clear response has come through, only referrals to other departments, which we are following up with.

Click here for more information on the petition.