Tree house in Falls Chuch yard may have to come down

(Photo: Autria Godfrey/WJLA)

A local father built a tree house for his children, but despite checking with the county beforehand, he claims, a complaint may put an end to the dream playhouse.

The handcrafted, 10 by 10 foot tree house is along Marc Drive in Falls Church is a playground masterpiece in danger of being demolished.

Mark Grapin built it for his two sons after coming home from his last trip to Iraq. He says he checked with Fairfax County before sawing the first piece of wood. After getting the green light, he spent 6 weeks and $1,400 constructing the wooden work of art.

"It’s childhood…it's cool, it's not the house, mom and dad's not there,” he said. “Tell me a kid that doesn't want a tree house.”

But after an anonymous complaint was filed with Fairfax County, officials visited Grapin and put out notice that the structure violated zoning laws. It's in his front yard.

"If I would've put this on the east side of the property, you would've known me no more than the man in the moon,” says Grapin.

The Army aviation specialist is battling with the board of zoning appeals, a fight that's already cost him another $1,800.

Neighbors don’t understand the fuss. "I don't see any downside to this, it’s pretty, it’s nice and it also means there are kids in this house which means it's a family friendly neighborhood,” one said.

Grapin only has one appeal left until he may have to tear down the tree house.

"It's a tearjerker… I'm just gonna have to cry with you son,” he said. “I don't know where to go with this.”