NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A local woman, Shawnee Chasser, is faced with the heartbreaking task of tearing down her cherished treehouse that has been her unconventional home for 17 years.

Chasser said she has been a fighter most of her life; she was an active protester during the Vietnam War and now at this point in her life, she is done fighting. She has made the difficult decision to dismantle the treehouse herself. The decision comes as a result of ongoing legal battles and fines amounting to $40,000 imposed by County Code Enforcement.

The tree house, located off 135th Street, that she has called home for nearly two decades will be torn down after several years of battle with the county.

“I didn’t think I’d cry but it’s a lot,” said Chasser. “I didn’t really have a choice, but I got this wonderful guy, Javier, who tells me my life is going to be better after and I’m just going with that.”

Javier Alonso is with the UMIEC contracting group hired by Chasser. He said his team is replacing what she has with a structure safer and hopefully, up the the county’s standards.

Chasser’s unique journey began almost two decades ago when she purchased her Northwest Miami-Dade home in 2003, primarily for her son Joshua. The property, dating back to 1948, offered a 1,985-square-foot space, including a two-bedroom house, to provide her son with the walls he desired. Tragically, Joshua passed away in 2009 at the age of 32 due to a heart attack.

Following her son’s untimely death, Chasser continued to reside on the property but opted to make the treehouse her home. Her open-air lifestyle allowed her to embrace the beauty of outdoor living.

The dismantling process is scheduled to take approximately two weeks before the entirety of the structure is torn down. The county is expected to be back on her property once the treehouse has been torn down to do an inspection of the land.

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