This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
A cardboard castle isn't junk to at least one Ogden dad and his two children; but it is to the city.
Jeremy Trentelman built the giant castle, complete with a slide, trap door, tunnel and windows, for his 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter in their front yard. But on Wednesday, Trentelman received a letter from Ogden City Code Enforcement that the castle constituted "waste materials or junk" and he would have to take it down within 15 days, or face a $125 penalty.
Trentelman's response in a Facebook post? "ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDIN ME!!!?!"
But while he was mad for about an hour, Trentelman said that soon "the ridiculousness of it all just kind of dawned on me, and it was just laughter [from there]."
Had he not received the letter, he was planning on taking the castle down soon anyway. But after receiving it, he now plans to keep it up until just before the penalty.
"It was a great project for all of us to build, and now it's just [fun] watching them play in it, and watching their imagination run wild is just fantastic," Trentelman said.
Ogden code prohibits people from having "junk or salvage material" on their lawn, unless it's part of a business. The city is concerned about accumulating materials that could pose a fire, safety or health risk, or "distract from the beauty of our city," according to the letter, which Trentelman posted on his Facebook page.
Some of Trentelman's fellow Ogden residents aren't happy with the code enforcement office, either. A Facebook event is calling on other people in the city to build cardboard forts in their yards, too, to stand in solidarity with the Trentelmans. As of Sunday morning, 64 people had joined the event.