City threatens to tear down playhouse

Playhouse Controversy

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OCALA, Florida (WESH) — A 5-year-old’s playhouse needs to get in line with code enforcement laws or it will be taken down, the city of Ocala says.

The city’s code enforcement office said “out buildings” aren’t allowed in the front yard of a home without a special variance, and that’s something the family admits it never applied for.

Danielle D’Annunzio and her son Anthony spend hours every day in the playhouse.

“I just thought it would be really cute right there,” she said.

She said Anthony, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, finds the playhouse to be a calming space. She said she placed it in the front yard because her home doesn’t have enough space out back.

But the family has been told the playhouse requires the special variance from code enforcement and approval from the historic preservation board.

If it doesn’t get approval, the playhouse must be moved or torn down within 120 days, or the family will start accumulating fines of $25 a day.

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