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City says kids’ cardboard castle must go

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Ogden, UT (KSL) — A homeowner who initially objected to demands that he tear down a cardboard castle in his front yard now says he will turn the situation into something positive for the whole neighborhood.

When the Trentelman family returned home Wednesday, they found a notice from Ogden city on their door saying they had 15 days to remove the cardboard in front of their home.

Jeremy Trentelman said he brought the boxes home from work to build a fort for his children.

“As soon as we get home, there’s no going inside for the first hour that we’re home because they just want to play,” he said.

The notice said the fort is in violation of Ogden city code and called it “waste materials or junk…the prohibition covers junk or salvaged material, or litter.”

The notice gave the family 15 days to get rid of the boxes or face fines of $125 and possibly legal action after that.

Trentelman said he was upset at first but now feels it’s not worth the fight.

“It’s cardboard, but it doesn’t look like garbage to me. So, initially I was a little bit mad,” he said. “But very shortly I just kind of laughed about the whole thing. I’m not going to fight it. It’s cardboard. It’s going to last as long as it lasts, and we’ll take it down at Day 14.”

In a written statement issued Monday afternoon, Ogden city officials said an officer sent the notice to the Trentelmans after receiving an anonymous complaint about “trash and debris” at the residence.

“The letter clearly states ‘This is Not a Citation’ and invites the resident to contact (the city) for additional time, clarification and assistance,” the statement said.

Still, Trentelman doesn’t plan to try and keep the fort. Instead, he wants to turn the situation into something positive for the neighborhood by opening up the fort for all children to enjoy until it’s taken down.