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Anna Maria homeowner, building official disagree

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Anna Maria code enforcement officials sent Shawn Kaleta, the owner of this four-bedroom house at 804 N. Shore Drive, Anna Maria, a notice to comply with city code after an inspection of the house revealed two unpermitted bedrooms on the ground level. The house is being marketed for sale with eight bedrooms. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

Developer Shawn Kaleta, a resident of Anna Maria with a construction business in Holmes Beach, has been sent a letter by the code enforcement department that the house he owns at 804 N. Shore Drive is not in compliance with city codes because there are bedrooms on the ground floor of the elevated home.

According to Bob Welch, building official and code enforcement officer, he discovered the bedrooms while inspecting pool construction that was permitted at the site by the city. He said he observed the bedrooms by looking through a ground-floor window.

Because the house was built after 1974, when the city adopted an ordinance — what Welch called “post firm” construction — that requires the ground level of any new construction be used only as a garage or storage, the bedrooms don’t comply with code, Welch said.

Kaleta, however, said he bought the house furnished and no bedrooms are located on the ground-floor level.

“When Bob makes his inspection, he’ll see there are no bedrooms downstairs. It’s just a mistake,” Kaleta said.

He said he was not present when Welch performed the pool inspection.

The city’s letter to Kaleta gives him 30 days to bring the house “into compliance” or face a citation, which requires a hearing before the special magistrate.

Kaleta said the issue will be cleared up as soon as Welch inspects the ground-floor interior.

The property was advertised in February as a four-bedroom, single-family home for $1.1 million when Kaleta purchased the property.

The house is now listed on the website amibeachesrealestate.com as an eight-bedroom home for $2.2 million.

In examining the original architectural drawings for the home, Welch determined the house was built with four bedrooms, a study, nursery and den. The ground floor was a garage with two storage rooms.

Kaleta first gained notoriety in Holmes Beach last year when a number of residents spoke publicly against his conversion of older duplexes to more modern, three-story vacation rental properties, which they claim have too many bedrooms and accommodate too many guests,  leading to parking, noise and trash problems.

But city officials said Kaleta was not violating any codes or ordinances. His construction work was performed in the Residential-2 zone, which allows duplex construction.

Residents complained about vacation rentals that could accommodate more than one family at one time.

Kaleta said he was only building what buyers wanted for their property.

Neither Anna Maria nor Holmes Beach has any limit on the number of bedrooms for a single-family home.

City attorney Jim Dye has said the city cannot legislate how many bedrooms are allowed at a single-family home, provided construction and the structure meet all other building and land-development regulations.

2 Responses to Anna Maria homeowner, building official disagree

  1. Mermaiden says:

    Yep. Like the song goes, you call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye. He’s going to do what makes him the most $$$$$$$$$. Why aren’t there some zoning laws, or what ever, to limit the number of bedrooms? I know the quiet street we’ve loved so much, and used for beach parking the past 20 years, has a slew of those beach to bay places, with more going up.

  2. bigdogg says:

    The government doesn’t need to be telling property owners how many bedrooms they can have in their home.Hope he makes lots of money $$$$$$$.what the heck is wrong with that.This is supposed to be america.Land of the FREE .

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