- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) - One Chicago suburb is considering regulations on treehouses after one resident built an elaborate treehouse filled with amenities that he is advertising online to rent for nearly $200 a night.

The Schaumburg Village Board on Tuesday will consider new rules and permissions that the planning, building and development committee recommended on Thursday.

“We’ve been aware that there could be a treehouse issue for some time,” Trustee Jack Sullivan said after the meeting.

The proposed regulations are designed to ensure the treehouses are safe and to prevent people from building structures that adversely affect neighboring properties, according to Schaumburg Director of Community Development Julie Fitzgerald.

The regulations would require treehouses to be no more than 100 square feet and be set back from property lines. Builders also would be required to obtain a $15 permit before beginning construction.

The issue was prompted by Dan Alexander’s 7-year-old treehouse. It’s available for rent through Airbnb at $195 per night and includes air conditioning, cable TV, a kitchenette, a fireplace and a full-sized bed.

“This thing that he’s got there is not a treehouse,” Trustee Frank Kozak said. “It’s an elaborate setup.”

In compliance with city code, Alexander technically rents a room in his home and allows guests to freely access his backyard and treehouse. Kozak questioned whether Alexander is illegally operating a business on his property, but village staff assured him Alexander is carefully operating within the parameters of the law.

“As long as this never happens again, this is good,” Kozak said.

The full village board is expected to consider the committee’s recommendation on Tuesday, then it likely will be referred to the zoning board of appeals. If the new rules are adopted, Schaumburg will join Arlington Heights and other cities that already have regulated treehouses.

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