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Family Thrilled They Get To Keep 3-Story Treehouse Built In Late Father's Memory

ROSSMOOR (  —  A Rossmoor family is thrilled Wednesday evening.

Just days ago, they received a notice that their three-story treehouse was built in violation in Orange County and would have to come down.

The treehouse was built by a longtime resident in honor of her late husband.

Joni Doherty told KCAL9's Stacey Butler on Wednesday that she received a letter from Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel that changed everything.

"It said, you can keep your treehouse. I was ecstatic," says Doherty.

The treehouse can stay as long as Doherty gets the correct permits.

"I actually couldn't believe it at first. I was like 'Is it real?' " says Doherty.

She told Butler that Doherty's late husband had always promised he would build their sons a three-story treehouse.

But before he could build it, he was killed in a surfing accident. As a memorial to him, she had it built two years ago.

When the county sent her a notice about the structure being a code violation, she met with building inspectors, started an online petition and even collected 1,000 signatures of support.

Doherty told Butler she still got nowhere.

On Wednesday, Doherty neighbors Dave and Rebecca Lara contacted the media and wrote Steel asking for help.

"We felt it would be a double tragedy for the two young boys if they lost their treehouse after losing their father. We decided to get involved," said Dave Lara.

Doherty believes her husband is watching.

"This was his wish, and he made it happen. I feel that has to be because it's like a miracle," Doherty says.

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