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

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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.


  • Nathan2B

    What an asinine waste of time for the city of Ogden, I used to do things like this as a kid me and my friends would have a Fort in their yards and we would play army or some other game with them. We would do sleep overs in our forts for weeks on end or until the fell apart. There is no need for the letter, Whomever called in this anonymous complaint needs to have a good dose of KARMA come by there house and complain about something

  • fashionweekpalmbeach

    There is the letter of the law and there is the spirit of the law. The city needs to remember this and allow children to be children and play and remind its residence of this. Shame on the city for interfering with what is a child’s natural right to be a child, play and create.

  • Cynthia L Gomez

    Don’t you wish copy editors were still a thing?

    One Trentelman, two Trentelmans. (No apostrophe.)
    You only need an apostrophe when there’s a possessive. Example: Mr. Trentelman’s house is cool.

  • Leonard Fish jr

    My Family and I were planning a road trip by Ogden ,but due to the lawmakers silliness in the area I think we go a different route from now on idiots are law happy there I got a warning for having a cigarette in my car while my wife was getting a coffee parked in front of a store’s doorway on the bloody a parking area and now I see just how stupid you idiots are when a man is warned of a violation for building a fort of cardboard with his children and being a good father You people have gone power crazy and your citizens should fire the whole lot of you.

  • audrey

    I have the argument for this couple. Its not junk. its art. Art is a man made thing that invokes emotion. It invokes joy even for me looking at a picture of it. I’m not a lawyer but freedom of sheath and expression should allow you to have a piece interactive art in your front yard. And annoyance is also an emotion for that person who claims the “junk” annoys them

  • adam

    “Fascism is a form of socialism. The best example of Fascism was Nazi Germany. Fascism is the public ownership of all property except in name. It allows citizens to pretend that they own property, but they must use it in accordance with the wishes of the state. Since ownership means the ability to control a piece of property, the ownership is actually in the hands of the government.

    Fascism is often confused with other aspects of the Nazi regime. The Nazis were racists and nationalists. These are not necessary components of Fascism, though. Fascism is simply government ownership of all property in fact, with private ownership of property in name.

    In every significant way, Fascism resembles Communism. It also has a record of massive slaughter, scapegoats, starvation, and destruction of wealth. It has the same moral base as Communism. It is founded on Collectivism. They are different faces of the same evil system.”

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