Homeowners Association Forces Mother to Take Down Her 9-Year-Old’s Fort

Nicholas Aarsvold, 9, poses with his mom in front of his controversial fort.

Annoying neighbors or a spoiled kid?

Either way, 9-year-old Nicholas Aarsvold is being forced to tear down a fort he worked so hard to build.

The boy built the hide-out between two shrubs on a strip of grass that separates his driveway from his neighbor’s.

But, as the Statesman reports, not everyone thinks the fort is as cool as Nicholas does and some people in the Austin, Texas, neighborhood want it taken down.

It’s not the first time kids have been forced to destroy their fort; three years ago some kids were forced by the city of University Park, Texas, to tear down their treehouse because it was in a front yard and considered an “accessory building.”

Yeesh, take it easy, Texas.

The fort apparently violates architectural rules created by the Summerwood Homeowners Association, so the board of directors voted to send Nicholas’s mother, Ramona, a letter forcing her to dismantle the fort within ten days.

She refused. “That would be the wrong thing to do,” Aarsvold told the Statesman. “I don’t want to punish Nicholas’ creativity or squelch his spirit.”

According to the Statesman, the fort is on a common area and the Aarsvolds didn’t request an architectural change. The fort could also damage the bushes and if it remains, the association has the authority to remove it and charge the Aarsvolds for the work.

Aarsvold calls her neighborhood mean-spirited and bored. “People walk their little dogs and look around to see what they can complain about.” Although she initially said she would take down the barely visible fort, she says she has changed her mind because her son felt so strongly about it.

Here are just a couple of the comments appearing after the article in the Statesman:



let’s see if we can break the boy’s inventive spirit and naturally childish ways and subject him to interminable and unyielding adult rules. shouldn’t take long and maybe he’ll bump into some similarly bored child and they can get into just a few light recreational drugs. and then later on in his young life … well, hell, the sky’s the limit!

thanks, elders, for teaching this young man and his mother a lesson or two.


Yea right. I would love to come home to my 2-300k home and get to view a big pile of debris near the parkway. Rules are rules. 9 year old or not. HOA associations are in place for crap exactly like this. Basketball nets, leaving garbage cans all over the place, BBQ’s in front yards, mobile homes in driveways, the list is endless. Let’s weep for this drip of a mother and her poor poor kid…Let me swallow my vomit first.


Shame on the neighbors that made issue of this, to be this petty about a child’s fort – really? Pathetic. Good for this mom for taking a stand.


Another case of a parent teaching their child that they don’t need to follow the rules. Lady DO YOUR KID A FAVOR and teach him that laws and rules need to be followed. Our prisons are full of thugs whose parents taught them that it is ok to make their own rules. My heart goes out to the little boy…he’s got a really sad role model.

What do you think? Are rules made to be followed or is this just a case of neighbors being ridiculously petty? How do you feel about Ramona Aarsvold’s handling of the situation?

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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