Here's the lead, folks:
OGDEN — Jeremy Trentelman wasn’t thinking about violating any municipal codes when he helped his 3-year-old build a major box fort in their front yard last weekend, but apparently someone else did.Read Rachel Trotter's full SE writeup, peeps:
When Trentelman got home from work Wednesday he had a notification on his door that he was in violation of Ogden City’s code 12-4-2: Waste Materials or Junk; prohibited on premises. The prohibition covers junk or salvage material, litter and/or any abandoned or inoperable vehicle. In the notification Trentelman was told he had 15 days to get the boxes off his lawn or he could be charged $125 with the first violation (after the 15 days) with fees and legal actions proceeding from there.Code enforcement officer Gordon Sant issued the notification. “I’m going to send him a letter, but I haven’t been able to get myself calmed down enough about it to do it,” Trentelman said.
- City calls family's front yard castle 'junk', tells them to remove it KUTV News
- Ogden tells dad to take down his kids’ cardboard castle because it’s ‘junk’
- - SLTrib
- Cardboard box fort in Ogden neighborhood in violation of city code, officials say - Fox 13
- City Code Enforcement Cites Utah Family’s Cardboard Fort As “Junk”, Orders Removal - Ben Swan
- Dad In Hot Water for Building Cool Fort for Kids - Yahoo News
- City Forcing Family To Destroy ‘Completely Awesome’ Cardboard Fort -Countercurrent News
- ‘Completely Awesome’ Cardboard Fort Is the Hit of the Neighborhood. But City Code Enforcement Isn’t in the Mood to Play - The Blaze
12-4-2: WASTE MATERIALS OR JUNK; PROHIBITED ON PREMISES:Our take? What we're dealing with here is cleverly and lovingly crafted "folk-art," at the very least; and this above-pictured "kids' play fort" thus does not reasonably fit any of the conditions prohibited by this particular Ogden City ordinance. These distinctions are merely academic, of course, inasmuch as Mr. Trentelman indicates he'll be compliantly removing this clever edifice "within fourteen days."
A. Prohibition: It is unlawful for any owner, occupant, agent or lessee of real property within the city, to allow, cause or permit the following material or objects to be in or upon any yard, garden, lawn, or outdoor premises of such property:
1. Junk or salvage material;
3. Any abandoned vehicle or inoperable vehicle.
So what do you think, folks? Tempest in a teapot; or yet another obnoxious example of perfunctory regulatory overreach by a cold-hearted Ogden City government?
One thing's for sure: This has to be the quirkiest local story since 2012, when "Goat Man" was spotted roaming the hillsides above North Ogden, yes?
Update 4/8/15 8:30 a.m.: Strong editorial from the Standard-Examiner keeps this story rollin':
Update 4/8/15 8:35 a.m.: There's more grist for the discusion mill with this morning's hot-off-the-press SE story:
Mayor Mike Caldwell: “I remember building forts with my friends as a kid. It’s healthy for a child’s imagination to get away from their electronic devices for a while and use their imagination to create something. I’m glad to see that kids still want to play with the cardboard box.”
Greg Scothern, Building Manager for Ogden City: “I don’t think our code enforcement officer would have issued the warning if the box fort was complete. At the time he visited the property it looked like a bunch of boxes.”Read up:
High time to formally rescind the City's heavy-handed demand letter, wethinks...