Pine Avenue ‘tiny house’ prompts investigation

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Activity at 421 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, is under investigation by the building department for an unpermitted small building in the yard. Islander Photo: Bonner Joy

Passersby on Pine Avenue might notice a small building in the side yard at 421 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.

The structure, which Anna Maria building official Luke Curtis referred to as an accessory structure, doesn’t look like a typical shed. With opaque windows and a glass door facing the street, it looks more like a tiny house.

Anna Maria requires property owners to acquire permits for accessory structures, but Curtis said Sept. 21 the structure was not permitted by the city and he found no record of property owner John Cooper Bennett applying for a permit.

Curtis is investigating the installation of the structure, and was still searching for a permit request as of Sept. 18.

His next step is to contact Bennett and tell him he needs to have the building permitted.

Curtis said the structure is connected to power, but lacks plumbing.

A code enforcement officer reported taking note of the structure as it was being delivered by truck to the property June 14.

Mayor Dan Murphy said Sept. 18 that a tiny house would not be permitted in Anna Maria, but he did not know if the building code specifically prohibits them.

Curtis said structures in Anna Maria must comply with the Florida building code, including minimum requirements for room size, and that the building on Pine likely would not qualify for a permit.

There is no known Anna Maria zoning category for such a house.

Curtis added that, as acting building official, he wasn’t familiar with how the city code deals with tiny houses.”

3 thoughts on “Pine Avenue ‘tiny house’ prompts investigation

  1. Debbie

    I think it really depends on Usage. If it is being used as a rental unit is very different in decorating and design for than ‘hobby studio’. And, if it is a “traditional “ tiny house”, then isn’t it built on a trailer chassis and is on wheels and is portable.
    If so, then what are the rules for “non motorized vacation campers”
    If the house is permanently fixed, then it needs permitting.
    I doubt most tiny house meet Florida Hurricane building codes.

  2. Mancfish

    Why would a tiny house not be permitted? If you want to live in a small house surely thats up to you so long as you apply for the correct permits. Why is bigger always considered better, if our construction, consumption, diets etc were all moderated a little then surely the negative impact we have on our surroundings would be better.

  3. Eva

    While the owner does need to apply for a permit, the City would be completely wrong to try to deny it as a “tiny house.” Those structures are modern sheds and are used for workshop space (like any other shed) or lounge space (like a “she shed”).

    A quick google search shows what that structure actually is.


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