Anna Maria Demolition

29 Nov
Old Florida, Anna Maria Island style, is disappearing one house at a time.
Any home with living space on the ground level was built prior to 1975 after which FEMA demanded that living space must be above the 100-year flood plane (about 9 feet above sea level).
Some houses can be expanded from their original size as long as improvements are less than 50% of its improved value. For small original structures that makes it difficult to modernise, rent, and resell older designs.
A local height limitation of about 34 feet means all living space must be squeezed into the remaining 25 vertical feet, including the roof height. For the typical lot size on Anna Maria Island that means building 2 levels on a footprint pushed out to the 10 foot side set-back and 20 foot waterfront set-back in order to maximize floor area. If the lot is not raised with fill, the structure must be elevated on pilings or be non-living walled space with water flow-throughs.
The consequence is that new building creates a box or wedding cake architecture that has awkward access and outdoor spaces. But, if you appreciate a not-so-big house, now is the time to buy an Old Florida home before they are all demolished.


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