Janelle Butler, a Carlsbad resident for the past 34 years in the Rancho Ponderosa neighborhood, appeared before the city council on Tuesday, November 9, in order to express her concerns about a treehouse that her neighbor built.
“It’s basically hovering right above our fenceline,” said Butler. She said the treehouse was built 11 inches over the property line and approximately 15 feet up in the air.
From the council, Butler requested an exception to a code-enforcement law that she believes is allowing the treehouse to remain untouched by the City because of a “loophole”; Butler claims she was informed by city code-enforcement officers that treehouses fall under playground-equipment law and are not subject to enforcement. Butler described the treehouse as being made of a platform of wood with no edging, railing, and or anything to hang onto.
“I come before you to beg for the safety of any child that could perhaps play on the treehouse and fall onto our property,” said Butler. She also said she is concerned about her personal liability.
Butler suggested that the City allow code enforcement to address the issue or implement a setback that would restrict the treehouse's proximity to her property.
Upon looking at photos submitted by Butler, mayor Bud Lewis stated, “That platform and the location of that fence just below the platform look very dangerous.” Lewis requested that the city manager and city attorney look into the matter after acknowledging that Butler had made valid points.