Text of Bing's Federal Complaint
Bing and Ellen filed the 47-page complaint pro se (without hiring counsel) under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (CFFA) in US District Court on January 12th 2018. They filed after DDOT rejected court mediation at the DC Office of Administrative Appeals in November 2017 and before a two-year statute of limitations on the computer abuse expired on January 15th. The case has been assigned to Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the Obama appointee who put Paul Manafort and Bill Gates under house arrest in 2017. Read the complaint here:
Tree House Documents of Interest: 2015-2017
Tree House Plans, Presented to City Permitting Officials
The hand-sketched plan drawings the Psychas-Yees brought to the permitting center, leading them on a path to a mess of bureaucracy.
Ellen's Public Space Construction Project Permit, #118910, 11/10/15
DDOT public space construction permit which closed on 11/20/15, described as "for 20" projection over rear yard lot boundary on children's play fort/tree house built over owner's street box."
Neighbors' Tree House Tear-Down Petition, 1/11/2016
11 SE residents sign this "impact statement" euphemistically asking ANC 6B to "oppose the permit." Translation: tear up a closed construction permit. The neighbors stopped campaigning long ago.
Letter from ANC 6B to the PSC Regarding Tree House Permit, 12/12/15
In this letter, ANC 6B merely notes that DDOT issued the wrong type of projection permit to the family. Misleading press reports follow claiming that the ANC voted to get the tree house torn down.
The PSC's Strange Letter to the Psychas-Yees After the Decision, 1/28/2016
This unfathomable letter provides notification of the rejection of a permit renewal application the parents never submitted to build a fort that's stood for 5 months, no instructions to act included.
The Family's Petition for Rule-Making for DC Tree Houses
In February 2016, the Psychas-Yees submitted a detailed petition for tree house rule-making within the District of Columbia, pursuant to 2-505(b) of the DC Administrative Procedure Act. The petition was addressed to the directors of DCRA and DDOT, and the Deputy Director of the Office of Planning responsible for Historic Preservation. In June, the Psychas-Yees received a two-line response from DDOT dismissing the petition. The other two agencies--DCRA and HPO--failed to respond.
Bing and Ellen submitted the petition to object to the fact that there is no category
in the DC building code for the type of structure that they built, a roofless, 30 SQF play fort nine feet above the ground, and no system for Historic Preservation review of the play or tree house plans. You can help change that by backing their push
for the creation of a family-friendly legal framework for tree houses. If you're a DC resident who wants to see tree house rules on the books, contact your DC City Council Member's office to ask that the city moves to establish a regulatory
framework for tree houses, so that history won't repeat itself in this matter. In recent years, tree house zoning rules have been included in municipal codes all around the country, including in many of the DC suburbs and nearby towns.
Aims of the Family's Petition for Tree House Rule-Making
1) To raise awareness on the part of the city permitting leadership of the dearth of clear rules and guidelines related to tree house building in the District.
2) To help other tree house buildikng families sidestep bureaucratic snarls in trying to secure permits to build legal tree houses, particularly in the DC Historic Districts.
3) To help desk officers at the DDOT (Transportation/Public Space Management), DCRA (Zoning, Construction), and HPO (Historic Preservation) permitting desks know how to advise home owners and professional tree house builders who come in to city permitting centers seeking advice on planning tree house projects.
4) To head off damaging neighborhood controversies, like the one they've encountered, that can develop before, during and after a DC family builds a tree house.