Treehouse trouble for New Jersey girl

June 27, 2013 2:59:04 PM PDT
It was supposed to be just a little kid's treehouse, but it's causing some big problems for the family in New Jersey that built it.

"This is my treehouse" said Katie Tenebruso, 8 years old.

It is 8-year-old Katie Tenebruso's safe place, her own palace in the sky. It's where she entertains her friends and even spends the night, in what could be the coolest treehouse you've ever seen.

"I really like coming in here and it makes me happy," Katie Tenebruso said.

Her mom's boyfriend built it, complete with four real windows, a mailbox, and bunk beds.

"They use their imagination and they're very quiet," said Susan Tenebruso, Katie's grandmother.

But not everyone thinks it's so sweet.

The next door neighbor complained to Emerson borough officials, calling it an eyesore, and building inspectors discovered plenty of problems.

This is far from your average treehouse. It's suspended on stilts, it doesn't meet code, and it isn't even on their property.

"Nobody wants to see Katie cry. This court included," the judge said.

So Thursday, borough officials hauled Katie's grandmother, who owns the house, to court.

She claims she has permission to build on the property, which abuts hers, and which she's used for other things for 30 years.

A judge has given her 30 days to figure out how to make it conform to the building code.

"I don't want to break a little girl's heart. My job is to enforce the ordinance which I will do!" the judge said.

"What do you think you'll feel if the judge says you can't keep it?" Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger asked.

"I'll cry and feel really sad," Katie Tenebruso said.

But for now, Katie will wait for word and enjoy her treehouse, while she still can.