Kelly Urich


City of Lee's Summit forces kids to tear down fort


A group of neighborhood kids in Lee's Summit saw there fort brought down to pieces because it did not live up to city code.

Kids being kids, the Pergola neighborhood kids began collecting scraps of wood together in order to build their very own fort. The children built the fort on an empty lot from scraps found from various construction spots.  

According to neighbor Chris Pate, "They don't care what it looks like. It's not about outer beauty, it's about the fun, the cohesion between the kids."

Apparently, someone else did not particularly care about how the fort, as the city of Lee’s Summit got an anonymous complaint. Building inspectors were sent out to review the fort and determined that it did not meet city code – meaning the fort needed to come down.  

Neighbor Kid Sharp had this to say: "My 6-year-old was pretty mad and said he didn't want to live in the city of Lee's Summit anymore. So I could understand that, he was very emotional."

When some of the kids were told about the order to demolish the fort, two of them even put together and signed a petition to the city, saying:

"Dear City, Please do not tear this house down! We have all worked for almost a year on it, for hours and hours. We have all had fun climbing on it, camping in it, having picnics in it. Many happy memories were forged here. We all hope that it won't be torn down. So please don't tear it down!"

Mark Dunning, the director of the codes administration for the city, responded by saying: "Much like a police officer does with traffic and many other things, we deal with properties, so when we come across a violation, we can't just turn our head and pretend we didn't see it, because we got a public complaint.”

To celebrate the completed fort, the kids in the neighborhood threw a pizza party – only to watch the fort be destroy afterwards.

Happily, there are already plans in the works to build a new fort, meeting city code and even getting an architect involved.

- Kelly Urich 

Tags :  
People : Ben McClureChris PateKim SharpLee SummitMark Dunning

01/22/2014 8:34AM
City of Lee's Summit forces kids to tear down fort
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