The parents of a 3-year-old boy with cerebral palsy are getting rid of their son's playhouse after their neighborhood homeowner's association said it has to go, fining them $50 per day until they take it down.
Tiffiney Veloudis said her son Cooper uses the custom-designed playhouse for therapeutic purposes in the backyard of their Lexington, Ky. home. They had it built earlier this year for $5,000 after a therapist suggested it might help him be more active.
But because the little yellow house constitutes a "structure," it's prohibited by the homeowner's association, which is fining the family $50 for every day it's in their yard.
"This house is all about Cooper, it is not about come over and play," Veloudis told local NBC affiliate LEX 18. "It is about getting in there and having therapy and the therapy is fun. You accomplish so much more."
In a Facebook post, Veloudis said the family never set out purposely to break a rule; she said they got conflicting information from the homeowner's association on whether the playhouse would be allowed. She said she was just trying to provide the best therapy for her son, and that it was built out of love, not out of trying to provoke hostility.
But with the $50 daily fines and the threat of a lien against their property, she said they have no choice but to abide by the association's decision.
"I don't know how we're going to explain it to him," she told LEX 18 of breaking the news to her son.
The station spoke with Ernie Stamper of the homeowner's association, who said the board stands by the decision and will not make an exception for Cooper.
Stamper said the playhouse is different from swing sets or trampolines other neighbors have in their yards because those aren't considered structures.
"It's not something we have a reason to discuss. There are people who live here who expect us to abide by those covenants. It's why they bought their house," he told the station.
Veloudis argued this is a special circumstance.
"There is nothing written in that code for a child with special needs," she said.
She said she's been shocked by the level of support her family has received since their story went public. They've been flooded with words of encouragement from station viewers and a Facebook page in support of "Cooper's House" has garnered more than 670 "likes" since it went up last week.
(h/t Blaze reader Chris)