HOA tells man to stop building treehouse

HOA tells man to stop building treehouse

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — The battle over a backyard treehouse in Gwinnett County is headed to court.

The large treehouse, a room built on a 20 x 20 deck, sits behind a Snellville home. Mitch Howell says he’s building it for his grandchildren to be able to play and have sleepovers in his backyard. A professional builder began construction in January, but halfway through, his homeowner association said no way.

"It's in the tree, which is what a tree house is supposed to be," Howell told Channel 2's Tony Thomas.

Content Continues Below

People claiming to be the board for his Lockwolde neighborhood told him they’ll fine him $25 a day for every day he doesn’t take it down. He replied by filing a lawsuit insisting the HOA doesn’t really exist.


“When I purchased my property and closed, the closing attorney told me there was no HOA in place,” Howell said.

He says he’s uncovered evidence showing an HOA for his area hasn’t been registered with the state for years.

Since the lawsuit, organizers have apparently tried to correct the issue.

“There’s no HOA when I bought the property and there was no HOA when I began construction. They have no legal authority to impede my progress,” Howell said.

Howell says his grandkids are waiting on the day they can use their new treehouse.

“My grandkids are precious cargo and I love them to death and I want them to want to come see Grandpa,” he said.

An attorney representing the HOA would not comment on the dispute. %