Neighbor With No Imagination Tells Family To Take Down Cardboard Fort

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cardboard fortA Utah family is being threatened with legal action for constructing a giant play fort in the yard made of cardboard boxes for their children.

According to Fox New 13, Dee and Jeremy Trentelman initially built the fort as an inexpensive outdoor activity for their two children, ages two and three. Last week the Trentelmans received a letter from city officials saying they were in violation of a city code provision which prevents people from having waste materials, junk or litter on their property. The letter informed the family that they had 14 days to remove the fort or they would face a $125 fine. City officials claim the letter was issued after the city received an anonymous complaint about the fort.

To a child, this fort is heaven on earth. To a parent, it’s also a slice of paradise– an inexpensive place for your kids to play for a long period of time where the risk of injury is low and the need for your involvement is minimal.

But even though the Trentelman family took the time to add details to their cardboard kingdom, like a slide and cut out turrets, there’s no denying the fact that a ton of boxes piled in the yard is a bit of an eyesore. If you lived nearby and were trying to sell your house or are house hunting, it’s not the best in terms of curb appeal. And while playing in a cardboard fort seems like great fun for a warm spring afternoon, long term there’s the concern that bugs or rodents could try to nest inside it, not to mention how sad and melted the fort would look after a rainstorm. Still, the decent and neighborly thing to do would be to ask the Trentelmans directly what their long term plans were for the fort before you skulk off to city hall and file a complaint like crotchy old Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace. Had the naysayers taken the time to actually reach out to the Trentelmans, they may have been surprised by the response.

Trentelman claims he never intended to keep the fort up long term, but now that it has drawn media attention, the family plans to keep it up until just before the deadline. Trentelman told Fox13:

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.

Not everyone in the area thinks the city should storm the cardboard castle gates. Trentelman shared the incident on Facebook and an event has been generated with other local families constructing their own cardboard creations in their yards until the deadline. Here’s hoping they all have fun, for as long as they can anyways.

(image: Patrick Heagney/Gettyimages)