Cardboard box fort in Ogden neighborhood in violation of city code, officials say

Posted at 10:09 PM, Apr 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-07 00:09:20-04

OGDEN, Utah -- A cardboard box fort in an Ogden neighborhood is generating quite the buzz. The Trentelman's built the fort for their two young kids, but it seems someone driving by thought it an eye sore.

Dee Trentelman told FOX 13, “Just for the imagination for the kids, someplace to play and didn't cost a whole lot money, cost a roll of tape and that was it so good excuse to get them out of the house and away from the Xbox and whatever else and play in.”

But it wasn't a joke when the family received a notice letter April 1 saying their cardboard fort was in violation of city code 12-4-2: Waste materials or junk prohibited on premises. This includes junk or salvage material, litter and abandoned or inoperable vehicles. The city received an anonymous complaint.

Trentelman said, “I think it's kind of sad that he didn't recognize that it's a box fort. He didn't recognize the difference between a box fort and a pile of trash?”

Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell said despite the reports, the family has not been cited or fined.

“It was just a letter saying we had an anonymous complaint, and is this something you can address or if you need help with this give us a call,” the mayor said.

Neighbors said they are all for the cardboard castle, that it has been a hit with the neighborhood.

Jan Lyons lives across the street and said, "It's cute, it's adorable, it's fun, we love it and listen you can hear the laughter, that's what it's all about."

The Trentelman's said they never thought their cardboard creation would get this much attention, but since it has, their plan is to keep it up as long as possible without getting a citation.

"There was never any plan to keep it an extended period of time, it's a box fort, it's supposed to be temporary. It's just gonna be up until the kids destroy it or the weather does and we were gonna take it down and take it away but now that we've got this and all the fanfare and so forth we're leaving it up until day 14 and doing repairs as necessary to make sure it lasts until 14 days," Trentelman said.

If the city chooses to issue a citation, the first fine will be $125.