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Published on Dec 2, 2011
In a heartwarming victory, Army National Guard officer Mark Grapin and his two sons, Eric and Sean, ages 11 and 9, won the right to keep a treehouse they built together at their home in Fairfax County, Virginia. This is a thank you message from Mark, Eric and Sean.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN: The Fairfax County zoning board's unanimous vote to grant the variance was a stark reversal of its earlier decision that would have forced the family to take down the treehouse because it violated an obscure zoning rule. The zoning board noted the media attention and the hundreds of emails it had received several times at the final hearing, where Mark and his pro-bono lawyers presented the petition.
More than 1,600 people—including almost 600 from Fairfax County— signed Sergeant Cameron Dunbar-Yamaguchi's petition on Change.org in support of the treehouse. To Mark, the treehouse represented a promise kept that he would return safely from Iraq, and he drew up the plans for the treehouse while serving.