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Florida parents may have to remove backyard playground after neighbor's complaint

The playground violates county code
Posted at 10:11 PM, Dec 06, 2017

ELLENTON, Fla. — Parents in Manatee County, Florida may have to remove the backyard playground they built for their 3-year-old because of a neighbor's complaint.

Lauren Przybyla said her child loves play time.

"Layla is a creative little girl who loves to express herself. She loves to draw. She loves to color. She loves to pretend," said Przybyla.

A neighbor complained to county officials about the playhouse saying it didn't have the required permit and it's a hazard in a hurricane.

The family owns two properties including the lot where they built their home and a separate lot where they built the playhouse.

The county says the playhouse is known as an "accessory structure" and cannot be built on a vacant parcel. The county says the playground also does not have the required permit.

The family insisted that they went to county officials before building the playground and they were told they did not need a permit.

"We went down to the county. We tried to find out what we were or were not supposed to do before building it. We had the plans. We gave them this address of the parcel where the playhouse is located," said Przybyla.

The county said the family has three options. They can unify the two properties they own — this means combining the two properties into one parcel with the Manatee County Property Appraiser. The family claims this could increase their flood insurance.

The county says the family could also move the playhouse next to their home or they can get rid of the playground.

"I do know if she walks outside one day and doesn't see her playhouse there are going to be some tears shed," said Przybyla.

County officials said they never gave the family the "green light" to build. They also said they are willing to work with them.

Neighbors nearby said no one should interfere with a child's imagination.

"I have no problem with it and it's right outside my picture window," said neighbor Mike Rosiek.

The family has until January to make a decision.

Tampa-based WFTS called the neighbor who complained, but have not heard back.