Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The fate of an elaborate multi-level treehouse built next to the alley behind a home in the Kutzky Park neighborhood could be decided by the Rochester City Council on Monday.

The Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department is seeking guidance from the elected officials on how to deal with the situation, which arose after an anonymous tip led to an inspection that found the property owner had violated several provisions of the city’s zoning ordinance. A staff report notes the treehouse at 1224 West Center Street was built too close to the alley and extends 3-feet into the neighboring property to the east of the site. The treehouse is also 24-feet tall, which exceeds the limit for accessory structures by nearly 10-feet.

Under the city’s ordinance, the owner of the treehouse faces limited options for fixing the issues. The planning department says the structure would have to be moved and modified to meet the building code or torn down.

The owner also has the option of seeking variances from the City Council, which would require application fees costing over $2,000 and a written agreement with the neighbor concerning the property line encroachment. The council, which could consider waiving the fees under certain conditions, would also have to grapple with whether any precedents would be set by approving the variances for the treehouse.

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