After years of notorious sex parties, dildos in fish tanks and strippers galore, the St. Cloud property known as "The Wildest House in America" might soon have to shut the party down for good.
Osceola County is trying to foreclose and bulldoze the Sausage Castle, the infamous home of Mike Busey and his sundry band of friends and followers, which usually includes strippers, jugglers, veterans, B-list celebs and society rejects. Busey and his house have been featured frequently on the website for Vice, which once called the Sausage Castle home to "Florida's most free-spirited freaks."
"Osceola County has been maliciously fining Mike Busey for years for 'code violations' which would otherwise be frivolous litigation by any standard," according to a GoFundMe page Busey created to raise money to save his home. "Despite countless attempts to comply with the overreaching authority of the code enforcement and the ruthless tyranny of the county commission, the office of the county commissioner insists on putting us out on the street. ... Their agenda is to level and reduce the Sausage Castle into the earth from which it came."
Osceola County spokesperson Mark Pino says the case against the Sausage Castle at 3881 Hickory Tree Road in St. Cloud began at the end of 2009 when the county received a complaint about a large pile of trash. In January 2010, the county sent a notice of violation to all parties involved on the property for allowing the operation of a non-permitted, non-approved entertainment facility on the property, turning the garage into a living area, and allowing solid-waste spillage and junk to pile up on the property. The parties included Busey, who is a tenant, and the property owners, which include IE LLC, Daniel Bourbeau, and Michael and Fiona Brown.
Various violations and the addition of a Tiki bar since then have led to fines of up to $250 a day. Pino says Busey is responsible for $340,000 in unpaid fines, and the property owners have racked up their own fines, too. In total, the fines for all parties amount to about $1 million.
Pino says the county's main problem with the Sausage Castle is where it's built. The house, constructed in 2001 near Alligator Lake and valued at $117,000, is not in accordance with the original construction plans the builder presented to the county. It crosses lot lines and sits on the state-owned sovereign lake bottom of Alligator Lake.
Osceola County issued a non-compliance affidavit for the property in December, Pino says. He adds that the county is still in the process of foreclosure, which is at least a 90-day process.
"[Busey] has made it sound like he's facing bulldozers, but there's still a whole bunch of procedural stuff that has to play out," he says. "We have to follow the legal process."
Osceola County Commissioner Fred Hawkins Jr. says he's gotten complaints about the Sausage Castle ever since he's been in office. Mostly, people grumble about the gunfire and Busey's posts on social media. Of the latter, Hawkins tells his constituents he can't interfere because that's a matter of free speech. But the county is concerned with the size of his parties, which require a permit, alterations he's made to the Sausage Castle without permits and the way he's treated the surrounding wetlands.
Busey has publicly blamed Hawkins, a former neighbor, for complaining to code enforcement. Hawkins says he's never called code enforcement on Busey and hasn't lived in the neighborhood for three years.
"He's trying to change the focus away from what he's done wrong," Hawkins says. "This isn't some vendetta the county has on his lifestyle."
Hawkins believes many of Busey's code issues could be mediated and the fines can be paid, but he doesn't see how Busey can overcome the fact that constructors built the home in a different area from where they told the county it would be.
"I'm not his enemy," Hawkins says. "I would talk to him. It's not a lifestyle I would condone, but I'm not one to judge him. We're just trying to take care of code issues. ... We do what's lawfully right to protect the taxpayers."
Despite repeated phone calls and messages, Busey could not be reached for comment by Orlando Weekly. As of Monday afternoon, his GoFundMe page has raised $5,885 of the $10,000 requested.
"You can call him crazy!" Busey writes about himself. "You may not agree with his way of life! But [he is] one of the most giving, kind-hearted assholes you will ever meet."