The Coastal Star

McKinney agrees to move tree house: Delray Beach

By Hector Florin

The six-year saga over the tree house on the property of the historic Fontaine Fox home on North Ocean Boulevard might finally be over. Property owner and mansion builder Frank McKinney said he will move the tree house out of the Fox home’s sightline after city commissioners on Nov. 3 unanimously agreed the tree house didn’t conform to city guidelines. “We are going to concede the request to move the tree house,” McKinney said, and place it out of the way of the 1936 Cape Cod-style cottage built for cartoon artist Fox by legendary architect John Volk. The city deemed the Fox home a historic structure in 1989. McKinney built the 220-square-foot tree house in 2001, before it received necessary approvals. Eventually, a 2002 tie vote by the City Commission resulted in a lawsuit filed by McKinney against the city. The tree house violates city rules that prohibit a historic structure from being blocked. Charities and nonprofits have used the tree house for fundraising and other events. McKinney said he could present renderings of the tree house’s new location as soon as this month before the city’s Historic Preservation Board.

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