Couple launch online petition to save their Florida treehouse

Couple launch online petition to save their Florida treehouse

A Florida couple have been told by officials that they must dismantle their oceanfront treehouse, or face fines of more than £300 per day.

On their website, Cool Tree House, Lynn Tran and her husband Richard Hazen, tell how they built their treehouse, which they describe as "really just a dressed-up, glorified two-storey deck", on their property in Anna Maria Island in Florida. They spent more than £13,000 on the project, and say they sought Holmes Beach's permission before construction began.

The couple claim that they visited the city building department in 2011 to ask for a permit to build the treehouse, but an official said that a permit wasn't necessary. However, the official they spoke to is no longer with the department, and the new official says that the treehouse violates a number of building codes, including those that apply to hurricanes and structural safety.

While it's true that this isn't the average treehouse - it has three levels with glass walls and a staircase - the couple insist that they believed that they had permission to build.

They have now set up a petition to save their treehouse from destruction, and say that it was "built with love and creativity". They are aiming to get over 2500 signatures and have already had a great deal of media interest.

The couple say that their treehouse started out as a "simple happy do-it-yourself project", but now say that, even though the "end is uncertain" they say: "It is unthinkable for us to destroy a labour of love..."

Click on the image below to see some weird and wonderful treehouses...

Weird but wonderful treehouse rooms
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Couple launch online petition to save their Florida treehouse

For out-of-this-world views of Finland's snow-covered forests, Eagles View is a spectacular suite with floor-to-ceiling windows and a glass roof surrounded by the Syote National Park. Its name comes from the sightings of eagles soaring against the snow-filled sky and the room offers couples evenings in front of a crackling fire and a front-row seat when the Northern Lights make an appearance.

Based on simplicity and accessibility, this traditional wooden structure gives a sense of height and lightness, while reflecting minimalist Swedish design. The exterior of The Blue Cone consists of laminated birch wood, while the interior of timber. The quirky room is accessed by a bridge from a nearby mountain and once you get inside and check out the breathtaking views from the beautiful room, you'll see that it was worth checking in to this understated treehouse room.

Perfectly located next to the Bandhavgarh National Park for a tiger safari, the five tree-top rooms at Tree House Hideaway in India feature air-conditioning, an en-suite bathroom, a living area, minibar, mosquito net and even a writing table - because there's plenty to inspire you during your stay! The private balconies overlook the tiger reserve and the Bandhavgarh Fort, and animals are frequently spotted so you won't want to forget your camera.

A cabin in the woods might not sound like the most appealing place to spend the night but this cool and quirky tree room makes for a cosy and unique stay. The Cabin at Treehotel was based on the idea of creating a platform high up on a sharp hillside overlooking the Lule River valley. The room is reached by a bridge among the trees and resembles a capsule as a foreign body among the trees.

It's not technically a room but we had to tell you about Soneva Kiri's Treepod Dining, which takes haute cuisine to new heights! The treetop restaurant at the Thai hotel on the island of Koh Kood offers a bird's eye view of the ancient rainforest and stunning coastline. Take a seat in the bamboo pod at ground level and be hoisted six metres up into the tropical rainforest before sampling jungle-themed offerings from the menu, such as Canapés in the Canopy and Forager’s Basket.

Ever wanted to climb aboard an alien spaceship? The UFO at Sweden's Treehotel offers guests the opportunity to live out their childhood dreams and spend the night in a flying saucer. The room was built for four people and is cast in durable composite material, creating a light and strong place to sleep in the trees. Inside, there are separate bedrooms, a bathroom and a living area, plus space-themed furniture.

Looking for a five-star treehouse holiday? The Tree House by Lavender Hill Cottages resembles a fairytale castle and comes complete with its own outdoor hot tub. The house sleeps five and the master bedroom is entered by climbing a magical, spiral staircase where the starlit Somerset skies can be glimpsed through skylights and the quirky triangular windows. There's under-floor heating, a wood burning stove, a roll-top bath and a bunk room to capture the imagination of children.

This exciting hideout among the trees in Sweden is camouflaged by its mirrored exterior reflecting the surroundings. And you don't have to worry about the super-cool room confusing birds as the walls have an infrared film that is visible to birds but not humans. Inside The Mirrorcube, you'll find windows offering panoramic views, a double bed for two people, a bathroom and a lounge. There's a rooftop terrace too, just in case sleeping in a mirrored cube isn't amazing enough for you!

Treehouses aren't just for sleeping and at The BodyHoliday in St Lucia you can keep fit and healthy in one. The unusual Tree House is a new spinning and fitness studio set among the trees with its own Zen Deck for sunset yoga in the forest too. The glass-enclosed structure towers 25 feet above ground and is surrounded by tropical gardens with magnificent views of the Caribbean Sea. Plus it means you don't have to worry about prying eyes outside!

Nests aren't limited to birds as the Treehotel in Sweden has built The Bird's Nest fit for humans - and it's super-spacious and stylish. The room is big enough for a family of four with a gigantic bird's nest exterior providing a camouflage so you become part of the forest surroundings. Inside, the walls are clad with wood panels and the windows almost disappear in the outside branches.

Bangkok Tree House's View with a Room is a stunning, minimalist room where the sky and stars are the ceiling and the trees and forest are the walls. Perched seven metres in the air, the 'room' is a bamboo platform with a flower strewn futon under a fine canopy, allowing uninterrupted views of the sky and horizon across the tops of the surrounding trees. A night under the stars doesn't get much better than this!


Click on the image below for to see some treehouse hotels...

Editor's picks: Treehouse hotels
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Couple launch online petition to save their Florida treehouse

Situated in the lush Sable Valley in Kenya, amid the surrounding Shimba Hills, the Ndovu Bonde Sable Valley Treehouses are set in a 40-acre wilderness sanctuary with a balcony so you can view the African night sky. The four-poster bed that can be wheeled for you to gaze at the stars and there's a private Jacuzzi - because who doesn't want to relax in a tub while sipping champagne and admiring the sweeping views of the Shimba Valley?

In mid Wales on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, you'll find the beautiful Living Room Trehouses. Each of the four treehouses are individually designed and sit high in the tree canopy with futuristic and exciting styles. Inside, you'll find kitchens, spring water showers and bathrooms with Swedish compost toilets. There are woodburning stoves that heat the treehouses and the water in the showers. What we love most is that there is no electricity, so the solar lanterns, tea lights and lamps used create a romantic treehouse experience.

The secluded Tree House at Tongabezi Lodge in Zambia is constructed around the branches of an ebony tree and are spread out over a pine deck offering spectacular views of the Zambezi River. The hideaway lies at the end of a hidden path and contains a king-sized bed swathed in mosquito netting, a freestanding bath with gorgeous views, Anatolian carpets and West African artwork. What's more, part of the treehouse is over the water, giving you the sensation of floating!

Treebones on the Big Sur coast in California has gone one step further in giving you the treehouse experience and has a private wood-woven nest perched in a tree on the campsite so you can feel like a bird in a tree! The nest has a wooden ladder for access and a mattress but your will have to bring your own sleeping bag and mattress.

Located in the Waynad district of north-east Kerala, the TranquiliTree offers a luxury family-run home-stay experience on a working coffee, cardamom and tea plantation. Resting on three trees and nestled under a Gulmohar tree, the TranquiliTree has a bedroom, bathroom, a shower, TV and DVD player, plus panoramic views of the estate. We love that you can see the branches in the treehouse!

If you want a magical treehouse experience, head to the Dordogne in France where there are three castle hotels in the trees surrounded by the rolling Dordogne countryside at Chateaux dans les Arbres. Monzabillac with its turret tower is perfect for couples, Millandes is great for families with its high bunk beds for kids and hot tub on the terrace, and the self-catering castle Hautefort is ideal for groups and has a proper kitchen. Each of the treehouses have access to the ground-floor swimming pool and there's even a chef on hand if you need one.

In south-west Germany you can spend the night in a treehouse, high up in the forest canopy at the Tripsdrill Amusement Park. Big enough for six people, the treehouses have a TV, fridge, coffee machine, beds and even a terrance with seating and a view of the lush surroundings of gardens and vineyards.

The new Treehouse Suites at Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa are all about the adults - secluded, luxurious and romantic, while in a natural forest setting. Nestled in a wooded valley in the New Forest National Park, the six treehouses are on stilts to give you the feeling of leaving land and sleeping in a floating suite. Each suite has forest views, locally sourced and natural decor, plus a kitchenette.

Located on New Zealand's South Island between Kaikoura Seaward Mountain Range and Mangamaunu Bay, Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses gives you the chance to sleep among deer and olives groves in its five luxury treehouses built in the canopy of a native manuka grove. As well as spectacular views of the dramatic mountains and Pacific coastline, the treehouses have large windows bringing the trees right into the rooms and the decor was crafted by local woodworkers.

If you're going to climb trees anywhere, it may as well be in the world's largest rainforest, right? The Ariau takes the principle of the tree top hotel and turns it into a luxury resort, albeit 20 meters above the ground. 268 rooms and private tree houses are connected by a five-mile long wooden catwalk which winds through the canopy of trees, giving guests an awesome view of the Green Inferno.

The ideal tree hotel lets you feel close to nature, and at The Outpost the aim is to make guests feel as much part of the vast landscape, as the wild animals roaming below. Twelve cabins overlook 50,000 acres of forest and have retractable walls which mean you can bath with the buffalo, looking directly out onto the Luvuhu River below.

Ideal for families, this elevated, octagonal timber holiday home overlooks a smallholding near Taunton in Somerset. The quirky, octagonal Treehouse has a real home-from-home feel with its Quaker-style kitchen, wood burning stove and private garden - where you can dip your toes in your own personal hot tub.

Putting a new spin on being away with the fairies, the Free Spirit Spheres pods hang like oversized pumpkins in the rainforest of Vancouver Island, looking like something out of a children's bedtime story book. One for those with stronger stomachs, the pods gently sway in the breeze, lulling guests to sleep.

If you're looking for something closer to a fairytale version of treetop living, then the Castle Cottage Tree House in the grounds of this Sussex castle is pretty close to the mark. Wrapped around a chestnut tree, branches entwine the master bedroom, and guests can shower under at the stars thanks to the glass roofed en-suite. Perfect for couples, the treehouse comes with it's own outdoor swing seats overlooking the pond.

The ridiculously idyllic location of these treehouse cabins in Punta Uva is like something conjured out of a film script; its all hammocks from palm trees and beach volley ball at the Jungle Treesort. Your eco cabana overlooks the turquoise ocean, but is completely sheltered and secluded by the Sangrillo tree it is built around.

Located in the high conservation area of Huilo Huilo in Chile, the Hotel Baobab & Spa is built to resemble the native Bao Bao tree. Housed in its bulbous, tiered structure are 55 plush guest rooms, which are built around a real Bao Bao tree and indoor waterfall.

More in common with the classic treehouse of your childhood, this rustic B&B in the woodlands of Oregon is one for the outdoorsy types, with horse riding, hiking and rafting all available on-site. The Out'n'About Treehouse Treesort is ideal for families, where parent and child complexes are connected by an Indian Jones-esque rope bridge.

The village of Harads in Lapland, 60 kilometres south of the Arctic Circle, feels like a vision of the future. An area of woodland is something of an architectural playground - where local designers have been commissioned to create the innovative Treehotel. Accommodation ranges from a mirrored cube which reflects back the forest view to a human bird's nest and a sci-fi inspired flying saucer.

Boasting ten luxury suites hidden amongst the fauna and foliage of an ancient forest in South Africa; guests at the Tsala Treetop Hotel can dine al fresco on their private deck which juts out over the tree tops or basque in the decadence of their your own private infinity pool.

The laidback boutique hotel Bunga Raya in Sabah, Borneo has Treehouse villas, which are reached by a jungle walkway high up among the tree tops and boast sea views as well as monkey sightings. Simple yet luxurious, the villas are the epitome of romance, partially covered by trees, with an outdoor Jacuzzi, a private jungle plunge pool and a private balcony.


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