By Mike Schuh

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) ―From fences to sheds, nearly everything a homeowner wants to place in their backyard has to be approved by a city or county agency. 

 As Mike Schuh reports, one Anne Arundel County man found out that applies even to something he built for his kids.

Craig Federroll has a pretty nice place on the Magothy.  But when his mom, Susan, was taken by a heart attack last year, he was crushed.

“When she passed away, I had some extra time and started creating,” he said.

One cannon and board at a time, he built a tree fort.  Working through his mom’s death one board at a time, his treehouse began to grow.

“Kids just wanted it to get bigger and higher,” he said.

It’s a four-floor treehouse.  And something that big caught the attention of the county.

“Due to height and size, it’s an accessory structure.  It needs a variance,” said Tracie Reynolds, Anne Arundel County Department of Permits.

It can’t be taller than his real house, can’t be so close to the water and is way too big.  Playhouses don’t need a permit but can’t be larger than 8X8.

“We sympathize for the tribute; it is a public safety issue,” Reynolds said.

He needs to apply for permits and be ready to take it down.

“Give me a few years and let my kids enjoy it; then I’ll tear it down,” Craig said.

The homeowner has responded to the county.  Both sides are waiting for a hearing date.


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